|The Cetacean Research & Rescue Unit (CRRU) is a small, non-profit
organisation dedicated to the understanding, welfare, conservation and protection of
cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and their environment in Scotland, through
scientific investigation, education, and the provision of efficient, professional
assistance to sick, stranded and injured individuals.
Since 1997, volunteers and students have assisted the groups
marine biologists in the collection of data fundamental to our current knowledge of the
distribution and status of these animals in NE Scotland and the outer Moray Firth.
Primary concentration is of an individually-identified population of
bottlenose dolphins that spend a large proportion of their year in the rich, coastal
waters of the outer southern Moray Firth, and a sub-population of minke whales which
inhabit particular coastal areas along the north-east coastline during the summer and
As long-lived mammals with low reproductive rates, clear assessments of
the status of cetacean populations in our UK waters require long term and on-going
studies. Today we no longer have the luxury of studying whales and dolphins just to learn
more about them. Now, we must learn more about them simply to protect them. In this
respect, our current studies aim to provide information essential for the development and
implementation of effective conservation strategies to protect these magnificent creatures
and the marine environment in which they live.
With an emphasis on the whales and dolphins found in local coastal
waters, the CRRUs educational activities seek to encourage a wider understanding and
awareness of the marine environment, the species that live there and the potential threats
these animals face. The sheer size of the large baleen whales is enough to make most
people gasp in wonder. Cetaceans are therefore excellent ambassadors for educating people
of all ages and backgrounds of the need to protect our oceans and respect the life within
Affiliated with the UK Marine Animal Rescue Coalition, and providing
training in marine mammal rescue techniques for volunteers in an exclusive collaboration
with the British Divers Marine Life Rescue group (BDMLR), the CRRU operates the only
full-time, specialist whale and dolphin rescue team in Scotland.
Each year, 60% of the whales and dolphins that live strand around
Britains coastlines are in Scotland. Of these, 40% are successfully returned to the
sea, but often animals that are injured or suffering beach themselves in difficult to
reach areas and in often extreme conditions. In such cases, speed of response and
accessibility to a beached animal are perhaps the most crucial factors in providing it
with the best chance of survival. A whale or dolphin stranding is an emergency, but, it is
interesting to note that there is no funding or advice available from the Government for
the rescue of cetaceans in the UK this "voluntary" area of our work is
entirely dependent upon public support.
Affiliated with the Greystoke Foundation
Registered Scottish Charity SC 028400
Representatives of the UK Marine Animal Rescue Coalition