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'DolphinWatch how you watch' is the key message of the Dolphin Space Programme, the first accreditation scheme for wildlife cruise boats of its kind in the UK. The programme encourages anyone who wants to see dolphins to either watch from the shore, where marine wildlife can be seen and not disturbed, or to use one of the 8 boat operators who hae signed up to the scheme. Accredited boat operators have agreed to follow an approved code of conduct which helps reduce disturbance to the dolphins.

Dolphin Space Code of Conduct
" Maintain forward progress at a slow steady speed throughout the trip
" Follow an agreed route within the area of operation without stops or deviations except for safety reasons
" Always slow down gradually to no-wake speed if cetaceans appear directly ahead
" Limit the duration and number of trips in certain areas sensitive to marine traffic, such as Kessock Channel and Chanonry Narrows.
" Dispose of fuel, oil, litter and other contaminants in the appropriate containers onshore
" For your safety and theirs, do not allow passengers or crew to swim with, touch or feed dolphin or other marine mammals.

Pamphlets which show the Dolphin Space Code of Conduct, a map of land based dolphin watching hotspots and the list of accredited operators are available from Tourist Board Tourist Information Centres and SNH Offices around the Moray Firth.

Moray Firth Matters - Issue 8

© 2007 The Moray Firth Partnership

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