Boats spotted chasing whales in Forth
Published 10 Sep 2012 17:00 0 Comments
AN appeal has been made to leave the pilot whales stranded in the Forth in peace after boats were seen chasing the pod's surviving members on Friday.
Concerned volunteers monitoring the cetaceans alerted the police after two boats were spotted pursuing the group of pilot whales near Dalgety Bay.
Fife police said one of the boats was identified but the other sped off and was not caught.
Wildlife crime officer PC Ian Laing said, "We are making enquiries into the incident on Friday.
"There were two boats in the vicinity of the whales on Friday afternoon near Dalgety Bay.
"One of the boats was moving at speed towards the Fife coast.
"We tried to intercept them but we don't know which harbour it went into and it was not identified.
"The other boat was a commercial concern. We were able to identify it and will be in touch with them."
A total of 17 pilot whales died after they were stranded between Anstruther and Pittenweem last Sunday.
A further 10 were rescued, but one later beached again near Leith and died.
The other survivors are now believed to have joined up with other whales from the pod.
The whales were seen between Cockenzie and Largo Bay on Sunday, and today (Monday) were sighted around Leith.
It is now hoped they are making their way out to sea.
The British Divers Marine Life Rescue has asked boats not to approach the pod as any form of stress may either split the group or cause them to strand, and deliberately disturbing whales and dolphins is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Operations manager Stephen Marsh said, "It's illegal to intentionally disturb them and if you're taking a boat out into the pod you are disturbing them.
"They're very easily spooked and it could cause a stranding, even if they're not very close to shore.
"They have not moved off totally and we're hoping they will eventually."
This article appeared in Dunfermline Press 10 Sep 12