Bottlenose dolphins around the Aberdeen harbour, N.E. Scotland: a study of habitat utilisation and the potential effects of boat traffic

M. I. Sini, Sarah Jane Canning, K. A. Stockin, Graham John Pierce

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25 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate the factors that affect the patterns of occurrence and habitat utilization of bottlenose dolphins around Aberdeen harbour, on the north-east coast of Scotland (UK), and their responses to boat traffic. Land-based surveys were conducted over a period of nine weeks, between early May and late July 2002. During this time 83 sightings of bottlenose dolphins were recorded. Dolphins occurred more frequently around midday and early afternoon, while their abundance was greater around high tide and late afternoon. Foraging was the most commonly observed activity.

Dolphins were usually concentrated around the entrance of Aberdeen harbour. Their responses to boats varied considerably according to boat size, activity and speed, but there is evidence of habituation to boat traffic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1547-1554
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


  • Scottish Waters
  • patterns

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