Dolphin Code

The Port of Aberdeen has a code of practice, designed by a joint taskforce of experts, with the aim of protecting bottlenose dolphins near the entrance to the port's North Harbour, and provide guidance to vessels operating in the port.

The code was developed in 2015 by a joint taskforce who came together as a result of increased interest in the dolphins at the time. The group included: Port of Aberdeen, East Grampian Coastal Partnership, Police Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage; with expert advice from the University of Aberdeen, RSPB, the Sea Mammal Research Unit and Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

The Port of Aberdeen is visited by a range of marine wildlife, including bottlenose, white beaked and risso dolphins, porpoises, minke whale and basking sharks. It is believed that although primarily aimed at dolphins, the Dolphin Code guidelines will benefit all wildlife visiting the port.

Today Aberdeen is still one of the best places in the UK to view dolphins, with RSPB’s Dolphin Watch Project reporting that visitors to Torry Battery have a nine in ten chance of seeing the animals feeding near the city’s North Harbour.

The Dolphin Code, which can be viewed and downloaded below, suggests boats maintain a steady course at the slowest possible speed, stay away from the breakwaters, avoid directly approaching the animals, avoid turning engines on and off, and never feed, touch or swim with the dolphins.