Building on research conducted in 2017, ORCA are partnering once again with Brittany Ferries to gain valuable insights into the issue of ship strike.
Last week saw the first research on ship strike in 2018 conducted by ORCA's team with a trial survey across the Bay of Biscay.
Using equipment on loan from the Sea Mammal Research Unit at St Andrews University, ORCA's Science Officer and Head of Science & Conservation crossed the Bay of Biscay hoping to record behaviour of fin whales when encountering the Pont-Aven, Brittany Ferries flagship which crosses the Bay of Biscay hundreds of times each year.
Using high quality video recording equipment, the team trialled a new methodology building on a successful research project in 2017. The research hopes to gain crucial insights into how fin whales react when faced with large ships in the Bay of Biscay, and observing animal movements and behaviours and recording them may help to develop better and more effective guidance for ships in the longer term.
ORCA's previous research was conducted by a MSc student at Nottingham Trent University in 2017 and work is ongoing in analysing and understanding this initial study. However, findings were very productive and ORCA are committed to making this a key priority in helping to create safer spaces for whales and dolphins in Europe.