MSP ALEXANDER Stewart visited the British Divers’ Marine Life Rescue and met with NE Scotland region coordinator, diver and animal medic Colin McFadyen.

A registered charity, it is dedicated to the rescue and well-being of marine animals that are in distress in the UK.

The voluntary network of trained marine mammal medics respond to call outs from the public, HM Coastguard, police, RSPCA and SSPCA.

Scottish Conservative and Unionist politician, Mr Stewart said: “Although seal rescue has remained a key component of the work of the charity, it has become progressively more involved in the response to stranded cetaceans in the UK, such as whales, dolphins and seals.

“The BDMLR were founder members of the Marine Animal Rescue Coalition (MARC), an affiliation of organisations with an active interest and involvement in the management of marine mammal strandings in the UK, with a primary concentration of improving the response to live cetacean strandings.

“Their excellent work has been achieved through the sharing of information and opinions, encouraging training and equipment, and consideration of the options available for the disposition of beached animals in the context of UK stranding patterns.

“Every year, BDMLR trains over 400 volunteer marine mammal medics and has 20 whale rescue pontoons located at strategic points throughout the UK, waiting to help stranded whales and dolphins.

"Indeed, the BDMLR pioneered the use of pontoon rescue in the United Kingdom.

“This work is of particular interest to me, as a dolphin sponsor through the Whale and Dolphin Conservation charity and I am only to aware of the vulnerability of all these beautiful mammals when they stray too close to the shores.

“I also very much support the fantastic work of the BDMLR and will do anything I can to assist in promoting their amazing operations and projects into the future.”