A few things to remember when entering data

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A few things to remember when entering data


  • If visibility is 1, please do not carry out a Shorewatch.  
  • Please don't watch in above a Seastate of 4 (unless on the North Coast or West Coast)

Distance estimates:

  • Please take the distance from your watch point - this way the mapping will work.  


  • Reticules are always counted DOWN
  • On the database, rets are in .25 increments up to 6 then in 0.5 increments
  • Even if you see the animals during your naked eye scan, you can still list bearing and rets through bins

Non-cetacean sightings:

  • Seals, basking shark, etc get their own line on the sightings side of the (hardcopy) page and can use all the same details as cetaceans
  • When entering data, you will record this as a 'non-cetacean marine animal' sighting and then record them on the sightings entry screen along with cetaceans.


  • Please note your confidence as either 100, 75, 50 or 25%


  • Trialling recording jets / helicopters in 'other' boats and then recording type in notes.
  • Boats - fishing boats should be listed as either SM or LM but can been noted as fishing boats (and actively fishing or not) in notes 


  • If you have a sighting, please record it on the back rather than just in the notes so that we can collect the correct details.  
  • More notes are always better: this was a really large group, really far out… we couldn't ID, etc.
  • Mixed pods are currently listed as two different sightings but with a note in each of the comments to ensure that it is a mixed pod.

Thank you!
Happy Watching.

Janet Marshall
Janet Marshall's picture
Sea state

 I was intrigued to read above:
"Please don't watch in above a Seastate of 4 (unless on the North Coast or West Coast)"
What does this really mean? We don't do watches above a 4 anyway as it is utterly pointless.

Hi Janet, there are a few

Hi Janet, there are a few sites where people are watching right on that cusp of seastate 4-5 because their survey area is so prone to heavily windy conditions which are hard to anticipate when leaving from home.  At locations where dolphins and orca are seen regularly or close to shore, there is value in this and likewise, where we are just starting to build our vision of presence/absence of different species, it is useful to know that a certain species is seen even if we cannot complete a full analysis of absence.  Does that help?

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