Orkney Marine Mammal Research Initiative (OMMRI): Harbour porpoise annual aggregation research project

£15,000 awarded

Each year, an estimated 150-250 Harbour Porpoise congregate together in Longhope Bay, Orkney.  No one knows why they come together – feeding/socialising/breeding?  Little is known about these animals, the smallest of the UK cetaceans, as they are notoriously difficult to study.  This annual aggregation therefore represents a unique opportunity to study individuals & their behaviours & collect data which can be used to inform future conservation activity.  There is a new, large-scale wind farm currently in the planning process which will impact on the bay – both during construction & also with related services (eg undersea cables which will cross the bay).  It is scheduled to come into production from 2029, thus there is a need to begin to collate the data this year.  OMMRI ran a smaller, pilot study in 2022 & this project will build on that.  Data will be gathered using drones as well as land & vessel-based surveys & shared with Whale & Dolphin Conservation (WDC) & other groups studying smaller aggregations in Shetland & the Netherlands.  This grant is towards unavoidable third-party fees to complement the project delivery by volunteers & corporate support in-kind.

This map is loading. if you can still see this message after a while you may have javascript turned off.