Cetacean Research and Rescue Unit (CRRU)

Link to the wild

Providing financial support for the work of CRRU (Cetacean Research and Rescue Unit)

The Project

Funding the equipment which will allow for the quick and efficient rescue of stranded or trapped marine mammals around Scotland’s coastline

The Target

An incredible 27 species of cetacean have been recorded at one time or another in the waters around Britain and Ireland. Twenty-four of the twenty-seven species listed in UK and Irish waters occur in Scotland, making this area one of the most diverse and interesting regions for whales and dolphins perhaps in the whole of western Europe.    

Formed in 1997, the CRRU is a small non-profit research organisation based in northeast Scotland dedicated to the welfare, conservation and protection of whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans) through scientific investigation, environmental education, and the provision of a 24 hour veterinary service for sick, injured and stranded individuals.


In co-operation with universities, research institutions and international environmental agencies, principal studies focus on the coastal cetaceans frequenting the Moray Firth, providing baseline scientific data for the adoption of long-term management measures and conservation strategies for their protection. 

Conducting advanced training courses in marine wildlife rescue, the CRRU also operates the only specialist response team of marine mammal researchers in Scotland dedicated specifically to live-stranded whales and dolphins. The fully-equipped team (scientists, veterinarians and qualified volunteers) are skilled and experienced to act and advise at the scene of a stranding with first aid, veterinary treatment and refloatation procedures as required.

Of the twenty seven species of cetacean that have been recorded around the waters of Britain and Ireland, several are endangered. More importantly, several do not have sufficient data recorded on them, emphasising the importance of work such as that done by CRRU.


Listed below are a few examples of the species that have been studied or rescued by the CRRU team.

The funds raised by Blair Drummonds visitors will play a huge part in allowing the CRRU to continue rescuing whales, dolphins and other marine mammals around Scotland. In the past two years we have donated £6000 to the CRRU. Money donated in 2019 will go towards purchasing vital rescue equipment such as dolphin stretchers, a state-of-the-art veterinary trailer and protective kit for the CRRU crew. 


Where your money goes

Banff, Scotland

Project Leaders

Nikki, Alex & Erin - The Sea Lion Team

The team have 30+ years of experience working with marine mammals & birds, hence our enthusiasm to support local wildlife in Scottish waters. We have had the privilege of working with various species. We understand the best way to protect our oceans is to educate everyone on their importance & how they can help protect them. Unfortunately, the number of sick, injured & stranded marine mammals is continuously growing.  

Common name
California Sea Lion
Scientific name
Zalophus californianus
From South East Alaska, to central Mexico
20 - 30 years
Fast facts
• A Cuvier's beaked whale has been recorded to dive to a depth of 3km for over 2 hours
• Whales do not have ears on the outsides of their heads. Instead, they generally hear sounds through special structures in their jawbones.
• Grey seals are the largest breeding seals found in the UK. Half of the world's population of grey seals are found around British coasts, and numbers here have doubled since 1960.
• Dolphins make two kinds of sounds, “whistles” and “clicks”. Clicks are used to sense their surroundings through echolocation, while they use whistles to communicate with other members of their species and very likely, with other species too.
Conservation status
Least concern
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