Sharp eyed visitors to New Quay looking out from the harbour wall this spring might just be able to see a grid of yellow buoys around half a mile out to sea. These mark the position of underwater acoustic data loggers called T-PODS, automatically recording the clicks and whistles of dolphins and porpoises as part of a study by Hanna Nuuttila, a PhD student at Bangor University. It has long been known that Cardigan Bay is home to a large population of bottlenose dolphins and this research should give us a much better idea of exactly how the dolphins use the Bay.
*NEW click here to link to article on the research in the Guardian*
The data loggers are attached to the buoys by a complicated arrangement of ropes, weights and anchors so fishermen and boaters are being asked to avoid the area for the duration of the experiment, expected to run until April or May. The grid begins 600m north of New Quay Head, so there is plenty of room for boats heading south from the harbour, but please remember to respect the 8 knot speed limit within 200m of the shore between New Quay and Llangrannog.
To download an information sheet, including the location of the study area click here.