Minkes spot­ted in He­brides and Lochaber

The Oban Times - - OUTDOORS -

The an­nual Na­tional Whale and Dol­phin Watch event started on Satur­day July 28 around the UK with a num­ber of sight­ings around the He­brides.

Ev­ery year, sci­en­tists at the Sea Watch Foun­da­tion lead a cam­paign to help mem­bers of the gen­eral pub­lic con­trib­ute to sci­en­tific en­deav­ours to pro­tect whales, dol­phins and por­poises.

For more than 40 years, Sea Watch Foun­da­tion sci­en­tists as well as vol­un­teer ob­servers all around the coast have been re­port­ing sight­ings of whales, dol­phins and por­poises (cetaceans) to in­form Sea Watch’s data­base of records.

Cetaceans can be found all around the coast of the UK and, al­ready, there have been a record num­ber of species spot­ted.

Ce­tacean species spot­ted in­clude minkes at a wide range of lo­ca­tions in the He­brides – Colon­say, Lochaber, Staf­fin on the Isle of Skye, Peter­burn by Gair­loch, and off the coast of the Isle of Lewis to name just a few places.

Dur­ing the nine-day event in 2017, 11 dif­fer­ent whales and dol­phins were recorded in UK wa­ters. Most com­mon was the tiny har­bour por­poise which mea­sures just a me­tre and a half when fully grown. Some 1,410 sight­ings were logged around the UK that week, which was the higher than in pre­vi­ous years.

For more facts and fig­ures from last year’s event, read the 2017 Na­tional Whale and Dol­phin Watch re­port.

All the ver­i­fied sight­ings so far can be viewed on line at http://www. sea­watch­foun­da­tion.org.uk/ nwdw-2018/

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