A North-east beauty spot is now a seal haven after it became an official protected zone for the animals.
Anyone breaching the regulations of the marine colony at the Ythan Estuary, near Newburgh faces imprisonment or a hefty fine.
The colony has been offered the security measures after receiving backing in March from the Scottish Government to become a designated seal haul-out zone.
The site is home to an estimated 2,000 seals and, until now, has been protected by a small team of volunteers who police the area.
The new rules came into force this week. It is now a criminal offence to intentionally or recklessly harass the seals within the designated site. Anyone found guilty of such actions faces up to six months’ imprisonment or a £5,000 fine.
Ythan Seal Watch founder Lee Watson said: “It is a great day for everyone involved. For nearly two years, campaigners have been looking after the seals off and on the beach until the designation happened.”