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Man charged over Moray Firth dolphin incident near Lossiemouth

By David Porter

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Police Scotland have said that a 42-year-old man has been charged under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 for intentionally and recklessly disturbing a pod of dolphins by driving his boat through the group in the Lossiemouth area on Friday, March, 25.

The man will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal in due course.

Constable Hannah Haywood, Wildlife Crime Officer, said: “Whales, dolphins and porpoises are wonderful to watch but we need to remember that they are a protected species and it is an offence to deliberately or recklessly disturb or harass them.

“If you are out on the water and are lucky enough to see dolphins or whales then the main thing is to keep your distance, slow your speed and if animals come close to your vessel then do not make any sudden changes in your speed or direction of travel.

“Please do not chase or repeatedly approach them try to scatter them or swim with them. Let the animals be in control of the encounter and if they choose to depart or not to interact then this should be respected.

“Signs of disturbance can be subtle, but could include such things as; swimming speed, tail slapping, or ceasing in what it was doing i.e. feeding or socialising.

"If you notice any of these changes then slow down and stay back.

"Everyone on the water should follow the Scottish Marine Watching Code.”

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