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Welcome to MARINElife

Science for our seas

MARINElife is a science charity that conducts an Ocean Health Check by gathering information of key marine species so they can be better protected.  We provide relevant, robust and up-to-date information to those working for the sustainable future of our oceans.

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About MARINElife

Science for our seas

MARINElife is a charity (established in 2005), that is dedicated to the conservation of marine wildlife through research and educational activities.


 MARINElife grew out of the Biscay Dolphin Research Programme (BDRP), which was a survey and educational programme originally based on a P&O ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao (1995-2010). 


Today, MARINElife carries out scientifically robust surveys of dolphins, whales and seabirds, made by experienced volunteers, on a variety of vessels at sea in UK and bordering waters, from angling boats through to large commercial ferries.  The work is done in partnership with a wide range of sponsoring bodies from ecotourism through to research institutes and shipping companies. 

MARINElife also runs an extensive programme of educational and outreach events from species identification through to full surveyor courses.

Would you like to identify marine wildlife seen from shore and sea around the UK coast?


Learn how to become a Citizen Scientist for marine conservation, or become a MARINElife volunteer ship-based surveyor in your spare time.
Come and join MARINElife at one of our training days where you will learn how to observe and identify whales, dolphins, seals, and seabirds.

About MARINElife
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What We Do

Promoting the health of our oceans through science and education

Our oceans occupy nearly three-quarters of the Earth's surface and support a greater diversity of life than any other ecosystem on the planet and could hold the key to battling climate change.  So it is surprising that they are less understood than outer space!

We know that marine wildlife is under real and acute threat, and some species are on the verge of extinction.  Overfishing, pollution, by-catch, shipping, military activity, climate change and the unsustainable exploitation of once vast natural resources all pose growing threats to our oceans.

The key to safeguarding our marine wildlife is in evidence-based research which is the recognised foundation for conservation measures by policy makers.  Only when we understand the changes that the marine ecosystem is undergoing, and identify practical solutions, will we be able to look after it and the wildlife it contains for the future.


Surveys at sea

Marine Wildlife Research for an Ocean Healthcheck

Our core work since 1995 has been in researching the distribution, abundance and population trends for whales, dolphins, seabirds and other marine wildlife from commercial vessels. 

We now operate year-round surveys using a repeatable scientific methodology along fixed 'transect' routes through the key areas of ocean in Northern Europe, including The Channel, Bay of Biscay and North Sea.  Our work is driven by dedicated volunteers who operate from ferries, freight ships, cruise liners and smaller recreational boats as a cost-effective means to gather data in areas which are little studied.


"My soul is full of longing for the secret of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

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