CalMac Ferries launch new Marine Awareness Programme

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This week HWDT joined with other environmental organisations at an event to launch the CalMac Marine Awareness Programme.

The project aims to undertake marine biodiversity monitoring, engage with passengers to raise awareness of the marine environment and bring together marine conservation organisations working on the west coast of Scotland. The project is also exploring ways to reduce environmental impact such as introducing battery recycling and signing up to the #NaeStrawAtAw campaign.

You can watch the project launch event which was live streamed on YouTube.

The seas of west coast Scotland are among the most diverse in Europe and the ferries provide an excellent platform for wildlife watching. Through our community Sightings network, Whale Track, the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust receive hundreds of sightings records from CalMac ferry passengers each year. 

“Collaboration is at the heart of the CalMac Marine Awareness Programme and HWDT are excited about the opportunities that provides for encouraging greater whale and dolphin watching and public sighting reporting activities from the CalMac ferry network.” Alison Lomax, HWDT Director.

Public sightings are incredibly valuable to nature conservation efforts in the UK, a number of important discoveries about UK whale and dolphin populations have been down to the public recording and submitting sightings records. This effective ‘crowdsourcing’ for conservation last year enabled scientists to confirm England’s only resident bottlenose dolphin population and for nearly two decades has documented the movements and the decline of the UK’s only resident population of killer whales (the West Coast Community).

The launch of the CalMac Ferries Marine Awareness Programme is a great step forward for collaborative marine awareness efforts on the west coast of Scotland. HWDT is proud to support this important initiative. Keep up to date with the project as it develops online. #MarineAware.

If you are lucky enough to spot a whale, dolphin, porpoise or basking shark from a CalMac ferry this summer you can report your sighting online at or by downloading the free Whale Track app.