Moray Firth

Moray Firth

The Moray Firth (Scottish Gaelic: An Cuan Moireach or Linne Mhoireibh) is a roughly triangular inlet (or firth) of the North Sea, north and east of Inverness, which is in the Highland council area of Scotland. It is the largest firth in Scotland, stretching from Duncansby Head (near John o' Groats) in the north, in the Highland council area, and Fraserburgh in the east, in the Aberdeenshire council area, to Inverness and the Beauly Firth in the west. Therefore three council areas have Moray Firth coastline: Highland to the west and south of the Moray Firth and Highland, Moray and Aberdeenshire to the south. The firth has more than 800 kilometres (about 500 miles) of coastline, much of which is cliff.


A number of rivers flow into the Moray Firth, including the River Ness and the River Spey. Various smaller firths and bays are inlets of the firth, including the Cromarty Firth and the Dornoch Firth. The Pentland Firth has its eastern mouth at the Moray Firth's northern boundary.

The Moray Firth is effectively two firths, the Inner Moray Firth, which was traditionally known as the Firth of Inverness, and the Outer Moray Firth which is more open North Sea water. The name "Firth of Inverness" is rarely found on modern maps, but extended from the Beauly Firth in the west, to Chanonry Point in the east.

The Moray Firth is visible for considerable distances, including a long range view from as far to the east as Longman Hill.

Conservation and economy

The Moray Firth is one of the most important places on the U.K. coast for observing dolphins and whales. The most common species are the Bottlenose Dolphin and the Harbour Porpoise. With occasional sightings of Common dolphin and Minke Whale. The popular wildlife viewing area located at Chanonry Point host some spectacular displays of dolphins within the inner Moray Firth. There are also visitor centres at Spey Bay and North Kessock run by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society where dolphins and other wildlife can often be seen.

It is also an important oil field and fishing grounds. The Beatrice oil field in the Outer Moray Firth is the closest of the North Sea oil fields; it is also the (as of 2004) planned home for a 200-turbine deep-water wind farm. Much of the fishing industry focuses on scallops and Norway lobsters.

The Inner Moray Firth is a designated as a Special Protection Area for wildlife conservation purposes.

Map references

Latitude and longitude''' Ordnance Survey
grid reference
Duncansby Head
Chanonry Point
Inverness (Kessock Bridge)
Fraserburgh (Kinnaird Head)

Line notes


External links

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