ORCA has been closely monitoring the Government advice and each of our shipping partners’ advice regarding the current coronavirus outbreak.
We have a duty of care to all our volunteer Marine Mammal Surveyors, Cruise Conservationists, Wildlife Officers and staff, and a responsibility to play our part in containing the virus. Therefore, in light of recent Government advice and travel disruptions we have taken the following decisions regarding each of our work areas:
Access to the bridge has been restricted on many ferries, therefore all ORCA Marine Mammal Surveyor surveys on board ferries have been suspended with immediate effect until June 1st 2020. We have contacted all those affected individually and Marine Mammal Surveyors who have had a survey cancelled as a result of this will be prioritised for future surveys.
For all cruises we are being guided by each cruise company’s policy regarding COVID-19, along with Government travel advice. At present (correct at time of writing) all cruises which ORCA are participating in have been temporarily suspended by the cruise company for at least 30 days. We will continue to monitor this situation and will keep all those affected up-to-date with any alterations to this.
For all of our Wildlife Officer programmes we are being guided by each ferry company’s policy regarding COVID-19, along with Government travel advice. We will continue to monitor this situation and will keep all those affected up-to-date with any alterations to this.
These decisions were not taken lightly and we will continue to monitor and review the situation, providing updates if our policy alters. We also advise anyone who has a ferry survey or cruise confirmed with ORCA later in the year not to make any travel arrangements at this stage as the situation is ever evolving.
We thank you for your understanding in this uncertain time and we strongly advise everyone to follow Government advice regarding COVID-19, this information can be found here www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their time, support and dedication that they have provided to ORCA to date.
With best wishes,