Orkney Marine Mammal Research Initiative (SCIO)

Orkney and OMMRI

Marine mammals are present year-round in Orkney waters. Despite this and a public appetite to know more about the marine life in our seas, little is known about residency patterns and abundance levels of cetaceans and pinnipeds and the impact of localised anthropogenic pressures on these.

OMMRI works to protect marine mammals in Orkney through research and education. It does this by:

  • Raising awareness using citizen science and education to encourage members of the community to become 'Stewards of the Sea'

  • Actively undertaking research

  • Utilising an evidence based approach 

To help ensure decision makers, researchers, local organisations and the general public have an awareness and knowledge of marine mammals in Orkney waters and a desire to work together to protect them.

We know a range of data and services relating to marine mammals is already available from a number of national organisations but that the availability of data and the relevance of this to Orkney is limited. 

Nearly everyone we speak to gets a little bit excited when talking about marine mammals but local residents often lack access to resources to learn about the marine mammals in the seas surrounding their islands; and visitors to the isles are often frustrated in their hopes of seeing and learning more. 

Our role is to undertake research, collate data relating to marine mammals within Orkney and share this information, in partnership with the local community and national organisations, encouraging a culture of stewardship that utilises an evidence based approach to protect Orkney’s marine mammals.

Orkney Marine Mammal Research Initiative (SCIO) is a local charitable organisation, registered with OSCR (Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator) and is keen to foster and develop partnership working approaches with local businesses, statutory organisations and third sector partners to ensure efficiency and best practice methods of working on marine matters.