Humpbacks in the Firth of Forth

Alice Walters's picture

Is the recent increase in humpback whale sightings in the Firth of Forth driven by a wider population recovery in the North Atlantic?  By changes in prey distribution or abundance?  By increased effort in watching and sharing encounters?  The report attached below looks at the sudden seasonal occurrence of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae within the Firth of Forth, Scotland using data collected by the Forth Marine Mammal Project who lead the watching from the Kinghorn Shorewatch site.
'Citizen science can be a very useful tool for information gathering... Going forwards, the training of observers in the use of a standardised effort-based methodology for land watches is recommended.  This would provide year-round data, enabling reliable monitoring of temporal patterns in humpback whale presence.'
Read the full report, attached below, or visit our forum pages to have your say!