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Whale and Dolphin Conservation warns Highland residents and visitors over disturbances of bottlenose dolphins in Moray Firth near Chanonry Point

By Philip Murray

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Dolphins are a regular sight.
Dolphins are a regular sight.

RECKLESS nature lovers are risking harm to the dolphins in the Moray Firth, wildlife experts have warned.

Charlie Phillips, and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation charity he works for, have both spoken out in response to a growing number of worrying incidents in the waters around the Chanonry Narrows.

The spot is a particularly popular hunting ground for the marine mammals, and has resulted in Chanonry Point becoming a must-see destination for visitors and locals eager to catch a glimpse of the dolphins from shore.

However, boats and kayakers also visit the location and can disturb and stress the animals if they sail too close – and a growing number of such incidents have sparked calls for people to show more restraint.

Whale and Dolphin Conservation said, via its Twitter channel: “Boat users, please be careful if you are in the Chanonry Narrows area. Stay away from dolphins, don’t go chasing them or following them around – it stresses them out. If they come to you, fine, but we are having serious issues.”

Sharing their Tweet, Mr Phillips, who is often seen down at Chanonry Point taking photos of the dolphins and providing information to visitors, added: “Windsurfers, personal watercraft, inflatables, cabin cruisers, kayaks, paddleboarders – please take heed... we have serious issues in the Chanonry Narrows area almost every day. Intentional harassment of bottlenose dolphins is a criminal offence.”

Related news: PICTURE SPECIAL: Distillery worker's Moray Firth dolphin shots are flippin' marvellous!

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