.......................................is the main way that the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) collects extensive data on the marine mammals' movements.
HWDT's Education Officer Pippa Garrard gave Coastwise members an interesting account of the Trust's work, which focusses on research, education and community engagement.
The Trust owns a research vessel, the Silurian, which surveys extensively, taking staff and volunteers on 7 to 12-day voyages to collect data on sightings and record underwater sounds. It has now travelled an equivalent to over twice round the globe.
Animals are tracked via photos of (mainly) fins, which can be good identifiers, and a smartphone app - Whale Track - has doubled the number of sightings.
HWDT has been successful in contributing to the designation of some Marine Protected Areas, and protection measures are current being consulted on.
It is also monitoring the health of whales and threats such as entanglement, which sadly is one of the main causes of death of minke whales in Scotland.
Picture R from top are the Silurian, volunteers searching for sightings, a distribution map of HWDT data, and the Whale Track app.
A YouTube video of Pippa's talk is available on this link.....