An underwater photographer was gobsmacked to see a lobster had made its home in a traffic cone in the seabed near Fairlie.

Ross McLaren, 31, was astonished to see the incredible moment as he was diving near Fairlie Quay earlier this week.

Ross, who lives in Kilwinning, regularly likes to dive at Portencross and Fairlie Quay.

He said: "The area of the seabed around Fairlie Quay is just incredible and teeming with life.

"It is incredible given it is a working marina how much you can see.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Cone is home for lobster in surprise photoCone is home for lobster in surprise photo (Image: Ross McLaren)

"To be honest I don't think the lobster was at risk - it has seen an opportunity and decided to take it."

Ross's photo shows the lobster looking back at the camera lens from within the traffic cone where it had made its home for protection.

He said: "Having dived around many places, it is a bit of a conundrum now as to whether you pick up litter or leave it and on this occasion I thought it best to leave it as it looked like the lobster has set up its home in there.

"It is a moral and ethical issue and unless the marine creature is in danger, it is not worth changing it.

"In some of my dives, I have seen the likes of a can of Irn Bru and it has grown with bits and pieces and that is where it becomes an ethical issue."

Ross who is a chemistry teacher at Garnock Academy, said: "I was really quite surprised to see it - the visibility is sometimes not the best and it wasn't the easiest shot to get but I like to try and show, if possible, marine life interacting with external material from outwith the ocean.

"This is an absolute excellent example and hopefully will make people aware of the importance of not littering and keeping our marine environment safe.

"I used the external flash and you can see the lobster's eyes looking back at me as I was taking the photo - and I hope this photo can help raise awareness as sometimes it is the striking images such as a lobster in a traffic cone which can make the biggest impact."

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Nudibranch in one of the multi coloured marine creatures living close byNudibranch in one of the multi coloured marine creatures living close by (Image: Ross McLaren)

Ross said his favourite places to dive include Fairlie Quay, Portencross and the section of coastline between Buena Onda restaurant and Largs Pier.

He said: "For all the people who walk past that section of prom every day, if only they knew that the area is absolutely teeming with an extraordinary range of marine creatures on the seabed which are colourful and incredible.

"The incredible arrange of colours you can see is amazing - most people think that Scottish marine life is dull and grey on the surface but underneath it is full of colour.

"And sometimes you only have to go five metres below, like I did last week near the Millport Field Studies Centre  - which isn't an awful lot in diving terms - to see a wonderful array of starfish, anemone, lobsters, and bog tail squid which is one of my favourites.

"But we want to see them continue to flourish and that is why it is so important that we look after our seabeds and be mindful of the environmental damage that marine litter is doing."