One quarter of all whale, dolphin and porpoise species, collectively known as cetaceans, have been seen in Scottish waters. As Director of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, Alison's job is to find out more more them: where they live, how many there are, and what needs to be done to protect them. In this episode we chat about watching cetaceans from the land, finding toxic killer whales, and why whales capture our imagination.
Mull is situated in the Hebrides archipelago off the west coast of Scotland and is home to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, who have been collecting data on cetaceans for over 15 years. They are a proud advocate of citizen science, projects that allow anyone with an interest to take part in real scientific research. Their plethora of engagement activities includes a 'floating classroom', the newly created Hebridean Whale Trail, and an app that lets you monitor whales from anywhere on the coast, Whale Track. HWDT's data has been used most notably to provide evidence for a Special Area of Conservation dedicated to the protection of harbour porpoises, our most common cetacean. More Marine Protected Areas have been proposed thanks to their work and we hope to see them implemented in the near future!