DSP Steering Group
The steering group and DSP accredited operators generally meet twice a year to review progress, discuss any issues which may have arisen since the last meeting and to plan future development and improvement of the DSP scheme.
DSP Steering group members are listed below with links to their web pages.
Nominated tour boat operator representative(s)
To cover the inner and outer firth.
Wildlife Tour Boat Operator's Society (WTBOS) Web Link
The WTBOS was formed in 2003 by a group of boat operators in the Moray Firth with the specific aim of working together to ensure best practice. The Society works within the guidelines of the Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code (SMWWC) and Dolphin Space Programme (DSP).
VisitScotland is Scotland's national tourist board. VisitScotland advises the DSP on tourism issues such as quality assurance, marketing & promotion. It issues information about DSP accredited tour boat operators through local tourist information centres and in some publications.
Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) Web Link
WDC is one of the the most active cetacean charities in the world and is dedicated to the conservation and welfare of all whales, dolphins and porpoises. WDC advises the DSP on issues related to the conservation and welfare of cetaceans in the Moray Firth. Until 2011 WDC was also a key funder of the DSP scheme.
SNH is the government agency responsible for ensuring that Scotland's natural heritage is cared for and sustained. It has been closely involved with the DSP since the beginning, and was one of the key funders. SNH works to secure the conservation and enhancement of Scotland's natural heritage - the wildlife, habitats and landscapes which have evolved in Scotland through the long partnership between people and nature. SNH plays a key advisory role on the DSP steering group particularly in relation to the European designated Moray Firth Special Area of Conservation (MF SAC). The MF SAC was established to help protect the resident population of bottlenose dolphins, which is considered to be rare in a European context. Because the dolphins live a long time and reproduce slowly, and because the Moray Firth population is relatively small and isolated, it is extremely vulnerable.
The Highland Council http://www.highland.gov.uk
The local council for the Highlands area. The Highland Council operates a boat hire licensing scheme.
Inverness Harbour Trust http://portofinverness.co.uk/
Inverness Harbour Trust own and operate the port of Inverness and have a range of statutory functions including port marine safety. They advise the DSP on any relevant issues affecting this area.
Inverness Marina Ltd www.invernessmarina.com
Inverness Marina has 150 berths and opened for business in 2008. Inverness Marina supports the DSP and requires that berth holders also abide by the SAC recommendations to avoid disturbance to these species.
Police Scotland Web Link
Police Scotland Wildlife Crime Liaison Officers attend the DSP steering group in an advisory capacity only and advise the DSP on wildlife law and wildlife crime. To find out more about the work of wildlife crime liaison officers, please contact Police Scotland directly. To find out more about wildlife crime, have a look at the website provided by the Partnership Against Wildlife Crime (PAW).
The Moray Firth Partnership (MFP) Web Link
The MFP is not a member, but currently provides secretariat support to the DSP group. The Partnership was created to promote the sustainable development and integrated management of the natural, economic, recreational and cultural resources of the Moray Firth area in order to retain and enhance a high quality of life for all its residents and visitors.