Police have warned Scots not to "disturb and chase" dolphins and whales.

Recent days have seen police in the highlands receive numerous reports of sealife being disturbed as tourist numbers rise amid the good weather.

Scots have been reminded that these creatures are protected animals, and it is a criminal offence to deliberately disturb them.

Wildlife crime officer Hannah Haywood said: “Whales, dolphins and porpoises are wonderful to watch.

“But we need to remember that they are a protected species and it is an offence to deliberately or recklessly disturb or harass them.

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"If you are out on the water and are lucky enough to have a dolphin or a pod come close to your vessel then do not make sudden changes in your speed or direction or travel.

“Please do not chase or repeatedly approach them, try to scatter them or swim with them.

“Let the animal decide if it wants to interact and if they depart this should be respected, everyone should follow the Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code.”

Police directed Scots to a guide from NatureScot, which details the best practice for watching marine wildlife.

The guide says that there is a risk of collision with boats as well as communication between animals being interrupted by engine noise.