Oxford. April 18 2006. The Gardenstown-based Cetacean Research & Rescue Unit (CRRU) is celebrating this month after hearing that their bid for funding from Earthwatch was successful.
Earthwatch, who manage over 130 scientific research projects worldwide, will provide the CRRU with funds and international volunteers to support them with whale and dolphin research and conservation in and around the Moray Firth. From May to September over 60 volunteers, recruited from the general public, will join the team to help identify whales and dolphins, record their group structure, behaviour, geographic positions and assist with live-stranding incidents.
"The assistance of Earthwatch volunteers is fundamental to the expansion of our work," explains Dr Kevin Robinson, Director of the CRRU. "They will participate as central members of the research team and provide the crucial manpower necessary to support CRRU researchers in their studies. Volunteers will also be trained to assist with live stranding incidents should such a case arise."
Formed in 1997, the CRRU is dedicated to the conservation and protection of cetaceans in Scottish waters through scientific investigation, environmental education and the provision of veterinary assistance to sick, stranded and injured individuals. In 2006, the CRRU and Earthwatch will focus their research on the three most common species occurring in these coastal waters, namely, the charismatic bottlenose dolphin, the enigmatic minke whale and the notoriously shy harbour porpoise, in order to gather information that will improve their conservation.
"We are delighted to be supporting this project which produces vital information to enhance the conservation of whales and dolphins," said Dr Roger Mitchell, Earthwatch's Chief Scientist. "Not only do the CRRU raise awareness locally of the importance of the species, but their scientific studies have helped influence the improvement of the European legislation which affords them protection."
Members of the public who are interested in joining the Earthwatch project 'Whales and dolphins of the Moray Firth' can click here for more information or call 01865 318831.
For press information please contact Zoe Gamble, Senior Press Officer, Earthwatch,
00 44 (0) 1865 318852 / email@example.com