The success of WDC’s Shorewatch programme was acknowledged recently after being nominated in the Citizen Science category for the prestigious Nature of Scotland Awards.
Shorewatch narrowly missed out on the first prize and the awards ceremony, which is now in its 11th year, and is backed by RSPB and co-sponsor NatureScot.
WDC’s Shorewatch citizen science programme, monitors at risk species of whale, dolphin and harbour porpoise across Scotland. Members of the public are encouraged to train as volunteers to identify and scientifically record the movements of legally protected species from coastal lookout points, collecting vital data about where they breed, feed and travel.
This data then helps with marine conservation planning, influencing policy and development decisions to ensure better protection for whales and dolphins in the future. In the past, this work has helped create marine protected areas in the seas around Scotland.
Fittingly, the Citizen Science category award was decided by public vote and Emma Steel, Shorewatch coordinator at Whale and Dolphin Conservation was thrilled with the award nomination.
‘We’re delighted the amazing contribution of WDC Shorewatch volunteers has been recognised like this. Our dedicated volunteers survey the Scottish coastline year-round, share sightings and information with the public, and champion their local marine environment through petitions, monitoring developments and other important local actions.’