Monday, 22 April 2013

West coast whales, dolphins and sharks to be surveyed

Whales, dolphins and porpoises are to be photographed and their calls recorded during a new survey of marine life off Scotland's west coast.

Scientists and volunteers will gather the data between May and September.

The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) project will also seek to record behaviour and numbers of basking sharks.

The survey work will be carried out over seven to 10 days from the charity's yacht, Silurian.
HWDT said 24 species of cetaceans - whales, dolphins and porpoises - can be found off Scotland's west coast, including species designated as national and international conservation priorities.

The survey will involve photographing dorsal fins for use in identifying individual animals and to improve understanding of species' movements and interactions.

Photo identification work has already catalogued 125 minke whales, some of which HWDT believe stay in Hebridean seas all year round.

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