Killer Whales in Shetland – Sightings, reports and research

Posted by Brydon Thomason on Wednesday 13th April 2011 | Sea Mammals in Shetland

With several sightings of Killer Whales already this spring (leading to some confirmed identification matches) it is indeed very appropriate to bring the work of the North Atlantic Killer Whale ID project to people’s attention again. The continued support both locally within Shetland and indeed from visitors has been key to the success of the project to date. This summer we encourage and invite anyone fortunate enough to see or photograph Killer Whales in Shetland to please contact us to report the sighting. Although co-founder of the NAKID project Dr Andy Foote will be returning to Shetland this summer, he will not actually arrive until the 3rd of July when he will be joining us on our North Isles Nature Cruise with Simon King. Once again we are delighted to have Andy on board as sea mammal specialist and he is looking forward to sharing information, aims and indeed the progress of the Killer Whale ID project to date.

In the absence of any of the research team for the first part of the 2011 spring/summer we are asking for reports and information on Killer Whale sightings to please be called or texted in to Brydon on 07786982773. Brydon has played an integral role in the project from the start and has been helping us both when we are there or away, so it seems like a natural transition and the best way for us to keep information and interest going within the isles. We also hope to make the ID catalogue available to the public as a free download at some point this summer.” Dr Andy Foote, NAKID

Dr Volker Deeke (a research fellow at the Sea Mammal Research Unit studying the behaviour of killer whales in Scottish waters) also hopes to be rejoining the Shetland Nature team this summer.

For an update of 2010 Killer Whale sightings visit

And for more information on the NAKID visit

If you would like to find out about where and when in Shetland Killer Whales are seen this is also a good opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts throughout the Isles and indeed visitors to Shetland to consider following Shetland Nature on Twitter and Facebook. We have been using to filter news and reports of Killer Whale sightings as and when they happen, leading to more and more people enjoying encounters. Especially given our working relationship with the research team and acting as their point of contact for sightings and reports in Shetland this offers the most informed and up to date insight into Killer Whales around Shetland.

You can can follow our Twitter stream at

If you are a Facebook user you can join our page at

It’s not only Killer Whale sightings that you will be able to follow in this way but also all other wild and wonderful sightings, such as other exciting sea mammals and rare birds, which come via the local birding grapevine or straight from the scene as it happens!