Dolphins spotted off the Fife coast in the Tay Estuary area

Bottlenose dolphins have been spotted off the coast of Scotland - after observations were halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday, 3rd July 2020, 1:35 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd July 2020, 1:35 pm
Surveys of the dolphins have been carried out between May and September each year since 1989 by the Sea Mammal Research Unit

The dolphins were seen in the Tay Estuary and off the coast of Fife by a surveying team from the University of St Andrews.

Surveys of the dolphins have been carried out between May and September each year since 1989 by the Sea Mammal Research Unit, and the University of Aberdeen.

Two groups were photographed in the Tay Estuary near Tayport and another group between Crail and Anstruther as part of a long-term study of the bottlenose population off the eastern Scottish coast.

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The research team restarts their research programme after an enforced break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In recent years there has been an increase in sightings in the Firth of Forth and even as far south as the North East English coast this year.

Researchers are able to identify individual dolphins by the nicks or notches on the trailing edge of their dorsal fin, allowing them to estimate survival, birth rates, trends in population and to document the movements of individual animals.