Moray Firth Bottlenose Dolphins

Scotland’s east coast is home to aspecial population of less than 200 bottlenose dolphins, who’s range is centred around the inner Moray Firth, where a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) has been designated for their protection.

The waters around Inverness contain important habitat for these dolphins and provide one of the best watching opportunities in the world. The dolphins can often be seen jumping and feeding in the local area, especially during the summer months.

Whales and dolphins are highly intelligent and very sensitive to disturbance, from which they are protected under Scottish law .Disturbance can cause stress and increased energy use which can lead to impacts on health and ability to care for and raise young animals. We can minimise any disturbance whilst ensuring we have the best possible encounter by following some simple guidelines:

  • Please keep asafe distance
  • Do not drive head on to or move between, scatter or separate groups of animals
  • If unsure of their movements, stop and put your engine into neutral
  • During an interaction maintain asteady direction and slow ‘no wake’ speed
  • Do not make any sudden changes in speed or direction
  • Please limit your interaction to 15 minutes
  • Take special care when calves are present

If whales or dolphins approach your boat or bow-ride, maintain as low speed and steady course until they leave. Watch out for our marine wildlife and you’ll have a thrilling and memorable experience. You can find out more information about the Moray Firth bottlenose dolphins and the wider work of Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) at, or you can drop us an email at

Sarah Dolman
Head of Policy for Scotland Whale & Dolphin Conservation

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Inverness Marina is part of The Yacht Harbour Association's Gold Anchor Award Scheme and we are rated at Four Gold Anchors. This means that we reach the international standards set for marinas and that we offer excellent facilities, a very high level of service to our members and we have achieved the ICOMIA Clean Marina standard.

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  • Registered Office: Longman Dr, Inverness IV1 1SU Scotland
  • Registered in Scotland No. SC325102

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