Andy Gilbert is the ORCA Wildlife Officer working with CalMac Ferries across the West of Scotland until September 2018. ORCA are a whale and dolphin charity who are dedicated to the long term protection of whales, dolphins and porpoises, and their habitats in U.K. and European Waters. The charity surveys for marine mammals across the Atlantic on ferries and cruise ships and has been working with CalMac during ORCA Oceanwatch since 2015. This year, as part of the CalMac Ferries Marine Awareness Programme, ORCA are assisting with the coordination of monthly scientific distance sampling surveys from the bridges of vessels across the CalMac Ferries network. Andy will be leading these surveys with a team of Citizen Science volunteers who have received appropriate training.
The Wildlife Officer will be travelling throughout the year on the CalMac network, and is on hand to point out the incredible marine wildlife from vessels and engage with CalMac passengers about the ways in which we can all work together to tackle the threats that our precious and diverse marine environment faces. CalMac serves five million passengers every year throughout their network so this is a phenomenal opportunity to reach a huge number of people.
So next time you are on board, look out for Andy, the ORCA Wildlife Officer, in his blue high-visibility jacket and you may be lucky enough to sight acrobatic dolphins, elusive whales or even the second largest fish on the planet - the basking shark. We also look to the skies, so you can join Andy to learn more about the amazing seabirds gliding above. Andy will be on various ferries around the network throughout the coming months and you can keep a track of where he will be via the website and by jumping on Twitter to follow CalMac (@CalMacFerries) and ORCA (@ORCA_web). Not only is Andy a marine wildlife guide but he is fascinated by all animals so you will be able to chat to him about the terrestrial species that you see on your travels as well as the wonderful marine life you spot at sea.