Humpback whale in the Hebrides - Photos01/07/2009 14:12:33 Rare treat for cetacean researchers
June 2009. The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust's (HWDT) research vessel Silurian had a very special encounter on the 29th June. The crew were conducting a research survey between South Uist and Coll when one of the volunteers spotted a large, bushy blow in the distance.
As Silurian approached, and the engines were turned off, and a humpback whale surfaced within a few hundred metres of the vessel to the great delight of all onboard.
HWDT officer Sarah Barry commented "The whale surfaced three or four times in a row and then dived for about five minutes, so it was most likely feeding below the surface, which is an encouraging sign for the area".
10 metres long
Humpback whales off Scotland
Humpback distribution & appearance
HWDT conducts research surveys onboard Silurian throughout the spring, summer and autumn months. Volunteers are welcomed onboard to assist with vital data collection which will be analysed by HWDT scientists to provide a better understanding of cetacean distribution and abundance off the west coast of Scotland. Encounters such as this remind us that the waters off the west coast of Scotland are exceptional, playing host to a great variety of cetacean species. Reporting sightings to HWDT will contribute to the knowledge of cetacean distribution and abundance within the area. If you are lucky enough to encounter a cetacean, please report your sighting at www.hwdt.org or by contacting the office on 01688 302620.