Scientists working to monitor bottlenose dolphins in Cardigan Bay have noticed a boom in the number of calves.

In the past week researchers from the Sea Watch Foundation have seen four different new borns in the area.

Whilst it would be challenging to tell the youngsters apart from one another, the team use the calves’ close association with their mothers to tell them apart.

“We use a technique named photo-ID to identify individual dolphins. It involves photographing the nicks and notches on their dorsal fins and comparing them to others in a large catalogue. Once we can positively identify the mother, we can be sure that the calf by her side belongs to her.” explains Katrin Lohrengel, Cardigan Bay Monitoring Officer for Sea Watch Foundation.

Sightings Officer for Sea Watch Foundation Kathy James said: “Cardigan Bay is favoured by bottlenose dolphins for feeding and breeding in the summer months from April through to October. Continuous monitoring of the population is vital to document any subtle changes which occur.”

Sea Watch Foundation is a UK-wide charity that monitors dolphins as well as whales and porpoises, and for fifteen years it has had a field office base in New Quay, Ceredigion.

Using their huge data set, they are able to inform policy on how best to conserve these species given all the changes happening around our coasts.

Sea Watch was instrumental in the designation of two Special Areas of Conservation within Cardigan Bay, and utilises public sightings to help it achieve such goals.

Sightings of whales, dolphins and porpoises can easily be submitted online at and you can also find out more information about the work of the charity and species fact files too.

You can contribute to the work of Sea Watch and stand a chance of naming one of the new dolphin youngsters by taking part in their ‘Name Berry’s