A SPEEDBOAT sliced through a young male porpoise and left it for dead - sparking fury from a local environmentalist.

David Nairn, who runs the Clyde Porpoise group which monitors marine wildlife on the Clyde, has called for more robust regulation and a ban on jet skis launching from Largs RNLI slipway.

The dead mammal was found on the beach in front of Boathouse Avenue while another porpoise, which was only two weeks old, was washed up on Fairlie shore a few days later.

David said: "The speedboat propeller had clearly sliced through the porpoise. Two witnesses saw the boat hit the animal the day before.

"There were a couple of speedboats and jet skis all playing off the RNLI slip.

"They are morons on these jet bikes who are disturbing all the calves from the parent porpoises.

"I believe the police were called down to separate them when they arrived as there were more than eight of them.

"The jet skiers and boats were zooming around, harassing the porpoises and they are regularly ripping around the Isle of Cumbrae.

"It is a crying shame as this was a young adult male porpoise of medium length and otherwise had been in very good health."

David believes that the wildlife watching code is not robust enough and more needs to be done to protect marine life.

He said: "I am thinking about setting up a Ranger service in the upper Clyde to deal with these issues.

"We want to keep the marine wildlife, including our only solitary dolphin, Kylie. The fear is it is only a matter of time before we lose her if this reckless activity continues.

"We have a decision to make. We either hold on to the beautiful natural environment that we hold dear or we let neds on jet-skis and speedboats destroy it."

David is calling on the four local councillors to ask for Largs RNLI slip to now be closed off to jet skiers.

He said: "They are skipping about the surface and it separates the mothers from the calves.

"It is calving season and if the youngsters won't survive without the mother's milk so doubtlessly we will find more dead porpoises along the shoreline if this kind of thing continues.

"Another young male porpoise who was only two weeks old was washed up in Fairlie too. We need to take action."

David added that the local marinas in the area had been very supportive in educating boat users to follow the guidelines but added: "It is just this bad element that arrive at the RNLI slip and ruins it for everybody else.

"They are bombing about the Clyde with no care for the local marine wildlife.

"We have got evidence that the Cumbraes area is a persistent hotspot for these beautiful animals and it doesn't weigh up that we are allowing boats going at 60, 70 and 80mph in that kind of area. We are neglecting our duty of care to look after a protected species."

David said he would welcome evidence regarding the incident and can be contacted by email at david.nairn@clydemarinemammalproject.co.uk