It’s been eight years since we formally asked the Scottish government to protect the marine areas that Risso’s dolphins, minke whales and other species use to feed and to raise their young around Scotland’s stunning and wild coastline. And finally, here we are! These areas where the dolphins bring their new born calves, and where whales feast on herring and sandeels, are finally facing the stamp of approval.
It’s blowing a gale here on the Isle of Lewis, where we are waiting for the weather to improve so we can get out to sea to reacquaint ourselves with and photograph the Risso’s dolphins my colleague Nicola and I have been studying here for the last decade. We have learnt so much about these amazing dolphins in those 10 years – who hangs out with who, how often they are around and when they like to return. We have learnt just how important this small corner of the world is for them.
So please take part in this consultation response. It's so important that the government knows that we support these special areas for Risso’s dolphins, minke whales and other marine species that rely on Scottish waters.
We submitted all the scientific evidence in 2011, and demonstrated huge public support, even back then. And we have been patiently waiting since then for this critical moment in history. With the help of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust and Cetacean Research and Rescue Unit, and data collected by our amazing volunteer Shorewatchers, we provided the evidence and lobbied the government to protect these sites.
The work is not done yet. We have to convince the Scottish government that Risso’s dolphins, basking sharks, minke whales and sand eels need to ‘recover’ and we need to see robust and enforceable management measures in place to truly protect them from the full range of human pressures that they face. That is the next step and we will be asking for your help again then, because we are in this together – for the future of the whales and dolphins who rely on Scotland’s seas being safe and clean.
Play your part
Have your say in the public consultation, it's quick and simple to do