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Cetacean Research & Rescue Unit (CRRU)

“The close encounters with cetaceans not only provide a real adrenaline rush, but also a hands-on experience and personal insight of the dedicated efforts made by the estimable research team working so hard to protect these incredible sea mammals and their environment.”

Grant awarded - £1000 in 2015 and £1000 in 2017

CRRU is a small, non-profit research organisation based in northeast Scotland dedicated to the welfare, conservation and protection of whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans).

2015 - The grant received from Sea-Changers was used to support ongoing research studies by the CRRU research team of coastally-occurring minke whales in northeast Scotland during 2016. The research team undertook 22 surveys for minke whales covering a total distance of 1,658 km. This resulted in 21 encounters with 26 whales. Photo-identification data were collected with several distance of 1,658 km of dedicated effort. individual matches being made from previous years.

2017 - The grant received from Sea-Changers will be used to further understanding of the ecology and habitat requirements of coastal minke whales in the northeast Scottish waters, by supporting ongoing focal studies of these whales by the CRRU research team which will be used to inform and assist in the implementation of the first ever Marine Protected Area proposed for these whales in UK inshore waters.  Raising awareness of these magnificent animals in our UK waters and the threats they currently face is fundamental to this project, connecting with the core objectives of the Sea-changers mission statement and everyone at CRRU is delighted to receive ongoing support for this project from the Sea-Changers grant panel.

Outcomes

2015 - A total of 66 trainees/volunteers joined the CRRU team in 2016 supporting the research effort.

In order to disseminate the findings, several scientific papers were written by the team and defined management options for the proposed Scottish Marine Protected Area (MPA) for minke whales were published. Several public talks were also given by the CRRU science team along with numerous related articles in the media. 

2017 - This project is still running and hasn't been evaluated yet

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