Bottlenose Dolphins
White-beaked dolphins
Rissos' Dolphin
Minke Whale surfacing


The North East Cetacean Project (NECP) was founded in 2009 by MARINElife and Northern Experience Wildlife Tours with funding support from Natural England and the Northumberland & Tyneside Bird Club.  The aim of the project was to generate up-to-date information on the status of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and seabirds off the coast of Northumberland and beyond.

The project's particular focus is the White-beaked Dolphin, a cold water species which is threatened with warming sea temperatures, brought about through climate change, along with other threats that are faced by our marine wildlife.  Over the last 7 years we've mapped the abundance and distribution of White-beaked Dolphin and other cetaceans off the Northumberland coast, identifying key areas for these enigmatic marine mammals and developing the case for the creation of marine protected areas. Other important species regularly recorded off the North East cost include Bottlenose Dolphin, Harbour Porpoise and Minke Whale, whilst rarer species recorded have included Sperm Whale and Humpback Whale.

We undertake regular surveys, with support from the Northumberland Wildlife Trust, North Sea Wildlife Trusts and the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority but if you have any cetacean sightings of your own, please share them with us; protection of the marine environment requires knowledge about just what's out there.

Photo by Tom Brereton

How you can help

Dolphins often come to play around boats, and at times can be seen from land as they swim past or feed close inshore. If you see a dolphin or whale, please report the information to us. You can use our online recording form, or simply fill in a sightings postcard, available from North East Cetacean Project, 18 Frances Ville, Scotland Gate, Northumberland, NE62 5ST. Submit a sighting

You can contact our North East Regional Officer

Latest News

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 13:51

The end of 2016 and start of 2017 have already produced a couple of jaw-dropping cetacean sightings...

Regional Weather

Broken clouds, heavy snow
  • Broken clouds, heavy snow
  • Temperature: 0 °C, feels like -3.1 °C
  • Wind: ENE, 9.3 km/h
  • Pressure: 986 hPa
  • Rel. Humidity: 100 %
  • Visibility: 1 km
  • Sunrise: 08:21 GMT
  • Sunset: 16:14 GMT
Reported on: Thu, 18/01/2018 - 01:20
The NECP was established in 2009 and is a collaboration between Marinelife, Natural England, Northern Experience Wildlife Tours, Northumberland & Tyneside Bird Club and the Northumberland Wildlife Trust, with support from the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority.
MarinelifeNatural EnglandNTBCNorthern Experience PelagicsNorthumberland IFCANorthumberland Wildlife Trust