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Cromarty Image Library

Mother and Calf
The Cromarty Archive
Mother and Calf

Two dolphins giving a bit of a show, just off the Ferry slip in early August.

The beach was full of visitors, enthralled by the spectacle, suggesting that research saying Dolphin watching in the Moray Firth is one of Scotland top tourist attractions may not be wrong.

Picture added on 06 August 2008
It's a pity the noisy jet-skiers who've been tearing about the sea this summer aren't made aware of the fact - I'm sure they're driving away other visitors who might put something into the local economy...
Added by Sheila on 07 August 2008
Im sorry Shiela but I have to disagree, in my 15 years on the Ferry I've never seen a jetskier chase a dolphin. Only last week dolphins and jetskiers were feet away from each other off the Cromarty slip and they were both there for hours quite happily doing there own thing.
Added by Ronald Young on 07 August 2008
There seems to be contradictory views on this, on Springwatch recently they were suggesting the noise of tankers and tugs were scaring the dolphins away, yet at the same time showed them leaping in front. I don't feel that they're around as much as they used to be, but maybe I've just been unlucky when looking for them.
In the meantime the firth is much quieter, with hardly any rig or Nigg activity? So if they prefer it quiet then you'd expect to see more. Do you still have as many sightings as you used to Ronald?
Added by Kirsty Pryer on 08 August 2008
Kirsty - for whats its worth I was down on shore to photograph a Cruise Ship that was one of two that was going out that night. Thee were four dolphins "putting on a show" in front of the ferry slip. As soon as the cruise ship steamed past Nigg they zoomed off to surf the bow wave of the ship as it motored out through the Sutors. I guess that sometimes large vessels for these guys means fun!

Added by Calum Davidson on 08 August 2008
I'm glad to see that the dolphins can look after themselves. What I was meaning was the noise and disruption and so on from the jetskis might put off human visitors to Cromarty - I was wondering about the negative economic impact of one small group against the positive image of Cromarty that attracts a lot of visitors and supports our local enonomy...
Added by Sheila on 09 August 2008
Wasn't there some speculation a few years ago that noise from the expeller in jet skis could interfere with Dolphins' sonar? Anyone know if this is true? Certainly there was some suggestion that a planned jet ski race over near Chanonry was stopped due to concerns about this.
Added by Colin on 10 August 2008
Sheila, I've seen the dolphins ride the bow wave of many large vessels entering the Cromarty Firth, including HMS Eagle! Noise levels of marine craft don't really bother them too much. I'm sure the research done recently by Talisman, and the University of Aberdeen, if read, would enlighten you as to the mammals likes, and dislikes. It is in all our interests however, not to deliberately harass them.
Added by Clem Watson on 20 August 2008
Ships or Boats are one thing. Jetskis are another. Ships and Boats make regular simple movements with predictable engine noise at the stern. Dolphins can choose to join in the fun on their own terms. Jetskis are noisy, frothy machines, making unpredictable, fast and complex direction changes. If I was a dolphin, that would worry me much more than a boat or ship - especially if I knew that jetski users showed selfish show-off behaviour including sometimes deliberately or unconsciously rushing towards dolphins and other sea animals.
But there is legal protection against harrassing these animals.
The point I was making was the impact of the noisy selfish showey-offey jetski behaviour on the people of Cromarty and the human visitors who choose to come here and spend their money in our town. Maybe it just irritates me that some people think they can come here and tear about disrupting the peace and quiet without thinking about how it might affect others... I shall now rename myself 'Grumpy'!
Added by Sheila on 24 August 2008
Well named then Sheila, as the LOCAL boys who use their jetski, s have never in any way tried to harass any of the wildlife in or around the area. Bare in mind the Dolphins and other Cetaceans in this area are part of these guys living, so its in their best interest to do them no harm. As for the frothy side of things, well the last Oil pollution response boat at Nigg "DALMORE" was a jet drive and rather fast too and the Dolphins were never away from it so im sure they must like the airiation of the water.
Added by Ronald Young on 24 August 2008
So disappointed I missed the dolphins. I couldn't understand why someone called me "Grumpy" the other day then saw the above comments! Sheila can you add your surname as there is more than one in Cromarty just like there are in Australia!
Added by Sheila Macdonald on 25 August 2008
I have to agree with 'Grumpy' Sheila here. I find the constant Zizz-Zizz-Zizz of these 'strimmers of the sea' really spoils a beautiful, sunny and peaceful Sunday afternoon, and we're not the only ones. It looks like great fun for the few, but it's not-fun for the many.

As to the sanctity of dolphins to jet-skiers, I'm sure that the majority are responsible, but there are always a few bad apples. Only last year, one of these was fined £500 for chasing dolphins on his jet ski near Banff.
Added by Colin on 26 August 2008
Ronald, I'd never believe you would do anything to harm these fine beasts, nor others who work these waters. I was making a general point - in a clumsy way perhaps - so apologies all round if I offended.

Sheila (Currie not Macdonald!) - a bit less grumpy than I was at the weekend
Added by Sheila on 28 August 2008
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