2018 Survey Expedition Dates Launched

 A minke whale - one of our seasonal visitors - surfaces alongside  Silurian  during an expedition survey in 2017

A minke whale - one of our seasonal visitors - surfaces alongside Silurian during an expedition survey in 2017

We believe scientific evidence is the foundation of effective conservation. Our Cetacean Research Programme delivers that evidence, but we need you to help us.     

Join us aboard our research vessel, Silurian, next year and be part of the conservation of whales, dolphins, porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) and basking sharks.  Our survey expeditions are unique in the UK and provide an unforgettable experience; explore the beautiful and wild Hebrides, while contributing to science.   

The waters off the west coast of Scotland support a variety of cetacean species – both resident populations and seasonal visitors.  The area is also of vital importance to the basking shark, the second largest fish in the world.  Help us improve our understanding of this special area, safegaurding it for generations to come. 

The week or so on Silurian is always one of the highlights of my year. Great team spirit aboard contributing to valuable scientific data and all in the most stunning scenery of the UK.
— Tibor Beetles, one of our many recurring Silurian volunteers
  Silurian  monitors Hebridean seas with her team of citizen scientists, living and working aboard during the expedition, anchoring in different locations each evening.

Silurian monitors Hebridean seas with her team of citizen scientists, living and working aboard during the expedition, anchoring in different locations each evening.

Our Cetacean Monitoring Programme was established to collect visual and acoustic data from on board Silurian.  This data has improved our understanding of the whales, dolphins and porpoises which we see in the Hebrides.  The data is of international importance and is required to influence change in Scottish conservation policy. 

There is still much to learn about the different cetacean species and the threats they face.  With increased pressures on the marine environment, we must continue to monitor Scottish cetaceans, endeavor to better understand the issues these animals face, and promote action to protect them. 

 A common dolphin breaks the surface - during the past 15 years of survey effort, the encounter rate of common dolphins has doubled.

A common dolphin breaks the surface - during the past 15 years of survey effort, the encounter rate of common dolphins has doubled.

Our Cetacean Monitoring Programme relies entirely on volunteer citizen scientists.  Every data point in the database has been collected by a dedicated member of the public.  No experience is required to join a survey expedition just an enthusiasm and willingness to learn and be part of the team.  Survey expeditions run between April and October, with differing rendezvous locations, duration and cost for participating.   

Probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life.
— Marina Dolnikova, Silurian team Aug 2017
 Visual surveys are undertaken from the mast - our citizen scientists are trained and supported by our fantastic crew throughout the expedition.

Visual surveys are undertaken from the mast - our citizen scientists are trained and supported by our fantastic crew throughout the expedition.


Help safeguard Hebridean whales, dolphins and porpoises by joining our Cetacean Research Programme.  Your involvement makes it happen!