MORAY FIELD CLUB
Meeting: 3rd February 2020, 7.30pm, Elgin Town Hall
Whales and Dolphins in the Moray Firth
A presentation by Lorna Hall, Whale and Dolphin Conservation
Scottish Dolphin Centre, Spey Bay
Lorna Hall graduated with a BSc in Marine Biology and Oceanography from Newcastle University in 2011, and has worked for Whale and Dolphin Conservation at the Scottish Dolphin Centre in Spey Bay since 2012, as a volunteer and subsequently as Education Officer running the education programme for schools and local community groups in Moray.
Lorna gave a very knowledgeable and informative presentation on the whales and dolphins that inhabit or visit the Scottish coastline and in particular the waters of the Moray Firth. Her talk was illustrated with excellent photographs and some well chosen visual aids, including a model of a bottlenose skull, a sperm whale tooth and a baleen plate, with which baleen whales filter their food.
She spoke first about the bottlenose dolphins which can be seen in the Moray Firth from Chanonry Point to Spey Bay and further east. She described their life cycle, their feeding habits and their playfulness, and how dolphins can be distinguished by their unique dorsal fins. Porpoises also frequent the Moray Firth, and the whale most likely to be seen is the Minke, although Humpbacks and Orcas have also been seen.
She spoke about the challenges facing all whale and dolphin populations around the world; commercial whaling is no longer the major problem it once was, but there are new dangers, including climate change and plastic pollution. Whale and Dolphin Conservation is a small charity which campaigns vigorously on these issues and also works to release dolphins from theme parks and zoos. The Visitor centre at Spey Bay opens on February 7th and is well worth a visit.