NorthLink Ferries Records Marine Sightings
3rd December 2015
NorthLink Ferries support of a new conservation initiative has proved successful, with five harbour porpoises, a striped dolphin and a pilot whale spotted in the first four months of the project by the ferry firms crew members.
The sightings, identified while NorthLink Ferries crew members travelled between the mainland and the northern isles, feed into a wider survey conducted by the marine mammal conservation charity ORCA. The charity partnered with shipping and ferry companies from across the UK to monitor and collect data on marine life around the coastline and adjoining waters.
Captain Stuart McCallum, Marine Manager at Serco NorthLink Ferries, said: Marine life is extremely vast and varied in the North Sea and thanks to ORCAs new conservation initiative we have been able to obtain a snapshot of whale, dolphin and porpoise presence in these waters.
The on-board bridge teams are always on the lookout for marine wildlife and birds to help give passengers a more comprehensive picture of our native wildlife as they travel to and from the mainland.
More than 10 NorthLink Ferries crewmembers aboard MV Hjaltland and MV Hrossey undertook interactive training in July, which provided skills to identify species and scientifically record vital data, as part of ORCA OceanWatch 2015.
Speaking of the training and results, Community Wildlife Officer at ORCA, Anna Bunney, added: OceanWatch 2015 was a real success and it is great to see the NorthLink Ferries crew putting all of their hard work and training into practice.
We look forward to working alongside NorthLink Ferries in the near future and developing our partnership further.
For more information about NorthLink Ferries or to make a booking, visit www.northlinkferries.co.uk or call 0845 6000 449.
-- Rolling dry dock period to commence late January with final vessel complete by 20 February--. -- MV Arrow secured on short term charter -- -- Alternative travel arrangements in place for MV Hamnavoe -- NorthLink Ferries has today (Thursday 21 December) published timetables confirming arrangements for the regular planned maintenance of its passenger vessels, with one vessel at a time due to be out of service between 22 January and 20 February.
NorthLink Ferries is set to open bookings for travel to and from the Northern Isles for next year from Saturday (1 October). Peter Hutchinson, customer service director at NorthLink Ferries, said: "NorthLink Ferries is happy to announce that bookings for 2017 are to be accepted from Saturday.
NorthLink Ferries, managed and operated by Serco on behalf of Transport Scotland, has scooped a national award at this year's Guardian and Observer Travel Awards. Held in Scotland's capital on Friday 3 March, the ferry operator was awarded the title of ‘Best Ferry' at the annual ceremony, which celebrates the best in travel and tourism services across the world.
-- Location Fee Donated to Local Charity NorthLink Ferries is set to make its debut in the BBCs successful Shetland series this month. Passenger ferry MV Hrossey will appear in the third series of the crime television programme, which stars Douglas Henshall as Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez, due to air from Friday 15 January 2016.
NorthLink Ferries is set to bring a series of events on board its services in 2016 following a successful Year of Food and Drink in 2015. The events will continue the Scottish Governments celebration of food and drink from 2015 by showcasing local Orkney and Shetland producers throughout next year at a series of on board tastings.
NorthLink Ferries has been named as the joint winner of a national award in recognition of the company's commitment to Fair Trade. The award was presented at the Scottish Fair Trade Awards to the Northern Isles ferry service for its partnership with Aberdeen Fairtrade Steering Group and Orkney Fair Trade Group.
NorthLink Ferries is now accepting bookings for travel to and from Orkney and Shetland for next year. The ferry operator will continue with its current timetable and fares as well as cater for popular events by providing a temporary revised schedule when required.
More than 12 NorthLink Ferries crew members have undertaken training to help them spot whales, dolphins and porpoise whilst sailing between the mainland and northern isles. The training marks the start of a new partnership between NorthLink Ferries and ORCA as they launch OceanWatch - a new conservation initiative that begins on 25 July aiming to monitor and collect data on marine life around the UK coastline and adjoining waters Speaking of the recent training and partnership, Captain Stuart McCallum, Marine Manager at Serco NorthLink Ferries, said: "Marine life is extremely vast and varied in the North Sea and through ORCA's OceanWatch training we hope to be able to obtain a snapshot of whale, dolphin and porpoise presence in these waters.
Serco NorthLink Ferries has announced two new special offers to launch early in 2015. From January 2, the ‘Kids Go Free' promotion will see children travel for free on direct Lerwick to Aberdeen and Aberdeen to Lerwick routes.
Serco NorthLink Ferries is accepting bookings for travel to and from the Northern Isles for next year. Stuart Garrett, Managing Director at Serco NorthLink Ferries, said: "As ever, the year ahead is set to include a number of exciting events for both Orkney and Shetland, from live traditional music festivals to midsummer celebrations.
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