Marine & Offshore
Monitoring and surveys

Marine mammals

Waardenburg Ecology has a team of marine mammal specialists with knowledge and experience from across the globe. Besides surveys and monitoring we investigate strandings and issues for marine mammals such as pollution and offshore developments. Our experts work as Marine Mammal Observers in the offshore industry and advise governments.

Various marine mammal species live in the Dutch part of the North Sea; the harbour porpoise, harbour seal and grey seal being the most common. We conduct various studies into the ecology and distribution of these marine mammals. Observations are carried out from aircraft, ships, from the coast and using acoustic equipment. We then link the results to environmental factors, such as human activities and underwater morphology. We describe the end results in scientific articles, policy reports and advice.

In the Netherlands and far beyond

We are also active in research projects outside the Netherlands. In 2016 and 2022, we participated in the European SCANS programme. This programme covers all marine mammals in Western Europe. In Antarctica, our staff investigated furseals and the effect of plastic. Off the coast of West Africa, we conducted counts of marine mammals. We have many similar projects where we act as Marine Mammal Observer in the offshore industry.

Plastic and marine mammals

Our researchers produce reports and articles about the effects of litter and plastic in stranded and living marine mammals worldwide. To this end, we developed standardized research protocols for sampling the contents of the gastrointestinal tract and for recording choking in living animals.