Active and Productive
The Moray Firth is a busy and diverse area, including the regional hub of the Highlands. It is home to over 250,000 people, located in many towns and villages around the coast. These communities have long gained income from the Firth and the sea, from fisheries, shipping and trade to energy and tourism. Following the last ice age, the abundant natural resources of the Moray Firth were first exploited by hunter-gatherers about 8000 years ago.
This was followed by the emergence of fortifications and settlements along the length of the Firth. Rich remains of these ancient structures, from the Neolithic times through to the Bronze Age, Iron age and Pictish times are scattered throughout the hinterland. Over time the Firth has been an international trading frontier, an important military base, a haven for far-ranging fishing fleets and more recently, developed a thriving oil industry and the beginings of a significant renewable energy industry.
Agriculture remains an important part of the local economy, whilst unspoilt scenery, wildlife and a range of sporting and recreational opportunities have led to a growing tourist industry.
In this section you can find out more about the people, communities and economy of the Moray Firth.