Moray whale spotters warned not to feed the rare visitors

Warning against feeding whales on Moray Firth
Warning against feeding whales on Moray Firth

A MARINE CHARITY is warning people against “whale chasing” in the Moray Firth in a week that has seen several sightings of a pod of Orca’s close to the shore.

Video footage from several sources has been posted online this week as the killer whales have been spotted hunting seals close inshore – including one taken from the Buckie lifeboat.

Yesterday insideMoray reported how one excited group on a pleasure boat spotted a pod of four Orca’s feeding on a seal – they recovered a piece of seal meat before throwing it back into the water for the whales.

It is highly unusual to sight Orca’s on the Moray Firth – while they are more common on the west coast of Scotland, there have been recent sightings on the east coast as far south as the Firth of Forth.

However, Danny Groves from Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) has warned that wild Orcas should never be fed as it would disrupt their normal feeding patterns and erode their natural wariness of people.

Mr Groves said: “While we understand how exciting an experience it can be to see orcas off the coast of Moray, it is unwise for people to try and feed any whales and dolphins.”

Citing a recent case in the United States where a boat owner was fined over $12,000 and given a three-year probationary sentence for attempting to feed orcas, Mr Groves added: “While it is not illegal in Scotland, feeding them can alter their future feeding patterns.

“Anyone who is out on the water should adhere to the Scottish Marine Wildlife watching code, which has been designed to help the public enjoy watching marine wildlife without disturbance.”

The watching code can be downloaded here.

Video posted this week that was shot from the Buckie Lifeboat (they were not feeding the whales!)