Dolphin disturbance concerns at Chanonry Point hotspot on Black Isle prompt marine campaign supported by Ullapool Sea Savers and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) in light of explosion of interest in paddle boarding, kayaking and 'wild' swimming

THE famous dolphins in the Moray Firth are facing a new marine threat - the surge in popularity of paddle boarding, kayaking and sea swimming. In recent years motorboats were at times the scourge of the population of bottlenose dolphins as they foraged for salmon or mackerel close inshore. But now it is an “explosion” in popularity for taking to the often dangerous currents and racing tides in cheap wetsuits, boards or canoes that is causing marine conservationists concern. It is also not unknown for people to try and swim with the dolphins, even in the dangerous waters that can be experienced off the Black Isle in dolphin hotspots such as Chanonry Point near Rosemarkie. This has led a group of conservationists to mount a publicity campaign in an effort to curb pestering of the sensitive cetaceans by uninformed pleasure seekers. Campaign spokeswoman Sarah MacDonald-Taylor, Avoch, said: “We have launched an anti marine wildlife disturbance campaign for the Black Isle, in conjunction with Ullapool Sea Savers and Whale and Dolphin Conservation, (WDC) and this week we met interested parties at Chanonry to discuss the situation.

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Source: Ross-Shire Journal