Family fun day with a porpoise

ORCA's Alison Lomax with inflatable harbour porpoise and seals looking on at Tynemouth's Blue Reef Aquarium.
ORCA's Alison Lomax with inflatable harbour porpoise and seals looking on at Tynemouth's Blue Reef Aquarium.

A ‘Dolphin Family Fun Day’ is being held this weekend to help celebrate World Oceans Day.

The event will take place at Tynemouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium on Saturday, June 8, from 11am to 5pm and is being led by ORCA’s community engagement officer Alison Lomax.

Visitors will be able to find out about North Sea whales and dolphins, become a dolphin scientist in training with ORCA, meet life-like inflatable harbour porpoise, try equipment and play a game of marine themed snakes and ladders.

Marine experts will be holding mini dolphin detective workshops where visitors can handle real whale teeth, bones and baleen, and explore how whales and dolphins survive in the ocean.

And visitors can also make their own porpoise puppet to take home.

The North Sea is home to a large number of whale and dolphin species, with the three most commonly sighted being the harbour porpoise, the white-beaked dolphin and the minke whale, while both harbour and grey seals are regularly spotted in the area.

Blue Reef’s Anna Pellegrino said: “Many visitors are amazed to discover the wealth and diversity of the marine life found around our shores and the fact that large whales like minkes can be regularly spotted in our waters.

“The fun day introduces people to the most commonly seen whale and dolphin species, what they look like, how to identify them, how they behave and their special adaptations to life in the North Sea.”