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CalMac has seconded a full-time wildlife officer to help educate crew and passengers about marine life.
Andy Gilbert will take up the roll in 2018, working as a conservation expert across the ferry operator’s West Coast fleet.
The project will be a collaboration between CalMac and wildlife charity Orca.
Orca is a UK whale and dolphin conservation charity dedicated to the long-term protection of whales, dolphins and porpoises.
Andy has spent decades pursuing his passion for wildlife and conservation, first as a volunteer, and most recently as an Orca wildlife officer in both the Bay of Biscay and in the Hebrides aboard the MV Loch Nevis.
‘The opportunity to spend 2018 working in the Hebrides and helping deliver the Orca wildlife officer programme, in partnership with CalMac, is an exciting next step in my career,’ he said.
‘I can’t wait to start helping to spread the message about marine conservation across the network of routes.
‘The more we learn about the diversity of what lives in our seas, the greater understanding we will have about how to conserve it for future generations.’
CalMac’s environmental manager, Klare Chamberlain, added: ‘The survey shows that the waters we sail have some of the most abundant marine mammals in the UK and we have a duty to do what we can to help protect them.
‘We’re really looking forward to working with Andy to help raise awareness of the terrific diversity of wildlife we are privileged to work alongside every day.’