Initially established as a voluntary group in 1997, the Cetacean Research Unit soon realised the need to expand their studies to a wider geographical area in order to better understand the movements and habitat use of the transient dolphin community being studied at Spey Bay, a large, shallow bay adjacent to the proposed Special Area of Conservation in the outer southern Moray Firth. This was largely achieved through platforms of opportunity, such as sailing, fishing boats, and whale watching vessels. The unit soon became the Cetacean Research & Rescue Unit.
In 2004, we became formally recognised as a Scottish charity, and in 2006, major funding was received in support of the charity's ongoing research programme. We currently provide placements for up to 60 international volunteers and students every year, and boasts an impressive publication list and educational outreach programme.