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I watched some episodes of that series when I was young, and from time to time it comes to my mind; however, I had never been able to find its name. I am quite sure (from the drawing style) it was a western production, not an anime.

I remember that the main hero is a marine biologist or something like that (a researcher who scuba dives). When he gets wet, he transforms into a black&white orca-like creature that could breathe underwater (orcas do not breathe underwater...). I should clarify that any part of his body that gets wet transforms, it's not necessary that his whole body is covered with water.

He also gains some strength (in a later episode, to escape from a chamber he is imprisoned in in human form, he floods it and then, transformed, breaks free).

In the first episode he is drowning due to some accident (I am not excluding the series villain by this wording). A couple of (humanoids?) sea inhabitants find him and "rescue" him by means of a sorcerery on a sort of sanctuary that transforms him in that creature (the whole scene is set underwater, so he discovers he could return human only at the end when he goes out of water).

One of the sea inhabitants is a boy which IIRC is often seen riding dolphins, I think the other one is rather old.

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    I definitely watched this as well, and have been meaning to post this question as well. Followed!
    – AncientSwordRage
    Sep 26 at 15:23
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The Prince of Atlantis (1997).

From Wikipedia:

The Prince of Atlantis is a British children's Traditional-CGI animated television series about a group of underwater creatures who protect the oceans.

In the heart of the ocean, in the mysterious waters of the Bermuda Triangle, is a beautiful city built by the legendary people of Atlantis. Its sole inhabitant is a child, the prince Akata, the last of the Atlanteans. With him in the underwater city lies all the knowledge, technology and the extraordinary powers accumulated by the people for 5000 years. But modern technologies threaten the city: men with sophisticated machinery plumb the depths of the ocean in order to extract its riches. Akata, with the help of the hologram of his master, Shum, and the ray-like mermaid Oya, must protect the Atlantean heritage, particularly the Blue Ray, from falling into the wrong hands.

The first episode includes a scene where the Atlantean prince, Akata, transforms a human man named Jaurice into an Atlantean with black & white skin. According to the TV Tropes page, Jaurice would subsequently revert to his human form when on land, and back into his Atlantean form when underwater.

The Prince of Atlantis was a short-lived BBC cartoon that mixed CGI and traditional animation. It told the story of an Atlantean prince named Akata who, along with his friends of both the sea creature and human variety, defended the oceans and his Atlantean secrets from the evil B.I.G. corporation.

Half-Human Hybrid: An interesting variation; Jaurice starts the show as fully human, but after he dies on the ocean floor and Agata brings him back to life, Agata also attempts to transforms Jaurice into an Atlantean so he can survive underwater. The end result is that Jaurice becomes a human-Atlantean hybrid that can tranform back and forth between a human form and an Atlantean form; above water he looks like his human self, but under water he becomes Atlantean.

You can view the scene where Jaurice is transformed at the 11:42 mark in the video below.

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    If the OP watched what I watched this looks very much like it's right. What threw me off was that the I mixed the prince and the transformed person up in my memory
    – AncientSwordRage
    Sep 26 at 15:46
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    StackExchange is always the place to find the answer you look for! Thank you!
    – Astrinus
    Sep 26 at 17:18

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