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Protecting Our Coast And Waters



Monitoring Mammals and Birds

The west coast is home to some of the most biologically diverse waters in the world. CalMac is in a unique position to help monitor the area's marine biodoversity. As part of our Marine Awareness Programme we run a series of surveys with our partners and trained volunteers. Together we work hard to gather important data about mammals and seabirds that frequent our waters.

Basking Shark Scotland - Shark & Photographer


A World First 

The data gathered aboard our vessels by our partners and volunteers monitor the health of the marine environment, and help to identify and understand any changes in the behaviour of the wildlife that frequent the coasts and waters. In particular, the work undertaken to monitor seabirds is a world first. It's the first time ever in the world that citizen science - volunteers trained to monitor wildlife - has been used in this way, anywhere in the world.

Wildlife Officer looking at findings


How you can get involved

We regularly spot a whole range of wildlife from our vessels - from Puffins to Porpoise, Basking Sharks to Brent Geese, Dolphins to Eider Duck. We'd love you to get involved in enjoying and helping to monitor the wildlife we're so lucky to share these waters with. Come, talk to our wildlife officer If you're traveling on board, come and talk to our wildlife officer who frequents various routes.

You can find out which route they will be on by checking here and/or our Twitter feed. You might spot the officer on board - distinguishable in a blue high visibility vest, and usually found out on the deck. Go have a chat - they are there to speak to you and they'd be delighted to share their knowledge. You'll be able to find out about what's been spotted on a particular route, and how to make your own sightings - whether on board, or at your destination.

Wildlife Officer talking to customers on board


Record your own sightings

When it comes to data, it's one of the best ways we can assist scientists and experts to understand and support all the wonderful wildlife that frequent our waters. So - why not record your own sightings at sea or on land. You can use the apps and websites below to do just that.


Whale Track App

Report sightings to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust by downloading their free app.

Whale Track App


The Mammal Society

Mammals are some of the most under-recorded species in Britain. If you see a mammal or signs of one, record your sighting using the Mammal Tracker App or via the Mammal Society website.

The Mammal Society


The SOC - Scotland's Bird Club

Record your bird sightings to the Local Recorder or BirdTrack - a bird recording project run in partnership with run in partnership between the BTO, the RSPB, BirdWatch Ireland and the SOC.

The SOC - Scotland's Bird Club

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