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Sea life spotting with Peter and CalMac

Peter Selway Wildlife Officer 2022

Hello! My name is Peter Selway and this year I am joining ORCA and CalMac Ferries in the role of Ocean Conservationist.

Since 2018 an ORCA representative has been working on board CalMac Ferries, conducting marine mammal surveys by collecting important sightings data that ORCA use to inform policy makers about the distribution and behaviours of whales, dolphins, and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans).

I will be working with CalMac guests who are part of the Ocean Conservationist and Mini Cruise experiences sailing from Oban out to Mull, Coll, Tiree and Barra. I am delighted to be taking on this role with CalMac Ferries and I am excited to share unique wildlife encounters with the passengers.


Where to find me:

I can be found on the open decks of CalMac Ferries wearing a high vis blue jacket, big binoculars, and a lot of layers. I shall be sailing on the following crossings surveying cetaceans and pointing out exciting wildlife to passengers:

  • Oban - Castlebay, Barra, Via Tiree and Coll
  • Oban - Craignure, Mull


Previous work:

My experience and career in conservation and public engagement is slightly different to most. I studied photography at the University of Derby where I focused on human relationships with nature. Leaving university I wanted to make sure my career was a positive one for our planet. I worked in electric car sales, gardening and of course conservation. Previously employed by the Bat Conservation Trust I worked on their helpline advising on bat safety and protection. I have also travelled the world including large parts of Asia, the Americas and Africa, all with a focus on wildlife encounters including elephants, manta rays, and birds which have always been a love of mine. I was employed by ORCA in 2020 as a Wildlife Officer for Brittany Ferries Bay of Biscay crossings. Unfortunately due to the global pandemic that was put on hold but I was able to complete my training and have since worked with ORCA in the hebrides. On surveys last year we were able to see pods of common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, porpoises and even managed to see breaching minke whales! I have been visiting Oban and the west coast annually for the last 8 years. I was lucky enough to moved to the area last year and love to be able to call it home.

I have seen huge amounts of wildlife from the deck of CalMac Ferries over the years including sea eagles, whales, otters and more! I am really excited for this year's trips and sharing these experiences with guests. We will of course be focused on looking for cetaceans but as with any trip out in the hebrides you never know what you might see!

If you have any questions about the Ocean Conservationist Program you can contact me here:

You can find out more about ORCA by visiting our  website

You can learn more about CalMac Ferries Marine Awareness Program here:

map of the CalMac route



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