Data Partners

Working with selected partners is important to HWDT, because it helps us to build a long-term picture of UK cetacean populations and distributions, which is used by scientists and government bodies to inform conservation policies.


National Biodiversity Network (NBN) – Data Partner

The National Biodiversity Network is a collaborative partnership created to exchange biodiversity information. It is a charity, with a membership including many UK wildlife conservation organisations, government, country agencies, environmental agencies, local environmental records centres and many voluntary groups. HWDT is a member and data provider of the NBN, sharing data collected onboard Silurian and through Whale Track to contribute towards our knowledge of the UKs biodiversity.

For more information see:

Sea Watch Foundation – Data Partner

Sea Watch Foundation is a national charity working to improve the conservation and protection of whales, dolphins and porpoises in British and Irish waters. HWDT are one of the regional coordinators for Sea Watch, providing sightings submitted through Whale Track so that sightings from the west coast of Scotland are represented in the national database.

For more information see:


The LINK Marine Group vision is of healthy, well-managed seas, where wildlife and coastal communities flourish and ecosystems are protected, connected and thriving, and coastal communities are sustained. HWDT along with seven other organisations are part of the group that share this vision, and together we have a stronger voice.

For more information see:

SMASS – Conservation Partner

The Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme (SMASS) collates data from stranded marine animals around Scotland. HWDT work closely with SMASS on issues such as large whale entanglement and HWDT staff have been trained by SMASS to respond to strandings around the west coast.  

For more information see:

BDMLR – conservation Partner

British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) is a voluntary network of trained marine mammal medics who are dedicated to the rescue and well-being of all marine animals in distress around the UK. HWDT work closely with BDMLR on the large whale entanglement project and HWDT staff are trained to respond to strandings around the west coast. 

For more information see:

WiSe - Conservation Partner

The WiSe (Wildlife Safe) scheme provides training and accreditation to marine users on how to responsibly watch wildlife and minimise any disturbance. HWDT are partners of the scheme and deliver WiSe accredited training courses on the west coast of Scotland.

For more information see:



Sea Life Surveys has been successfully operating specialist wildlife trips around the rugged islands and clean seas of the west coast of Scotland for over 35 years. Sea Life Surveys and HWDT were born out of the Mull Cetacean Project which was established in 1982 by Richard Fairbairns, with the advice of marine mammal scientists Vassili Papastavrou and Jonathan Gordon, to learn more about the cetaceans of the Inner Hebrides. Sea Life Surveys has always been a key data partner, providing effort-based sightings and photographs of individual animals to complement HWDT’s research.

Hebrides Cruises – Data Contributor

Hebrides Cruises is a family-run business based in Oban offering cruises to the Islands of the Inner and Outer Hebrides, offering the chance to see the huge diversity of wildlife, birds and scenery in some of the remotest parts of Scotland’s west coast. In 2015, HWDT ran a pilot project with Hebrides Cruises that highlighted the need for a more convenient way to record effort-based sightings, the result of which has been the Whale Track project, a convenient and easy way for all users to submit their sightings.