East coast oil and gas exploration poses dolphin threat

PLANS to commence oil and gas exploration off the east coast of Scotland could pose a threat to hundreds of marine animals including dolphins, whales and basking sharks, according to conservationists.

A proposal to conduct seismic surveys in the Moray Firth has been approved by the Department of Energy and Climate Change pending a four-week consultation.

It means survey work, involving pounding the seabed with sonar pulses from powerful air guns, could start as early as September.

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society has now urged Scottish ministers to oppose the surveys on the grounds it would affect 170 bottlenose dolphins in the area.

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