Thousands of people are opposed to oil and gas development in an area of the Moray Firth, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) has said.
The Moray Firth provides habitat for bottlenose dolphins
The organisation has collected a petition, postcards and letters containing 18,000 signatures addressed to Minister for Energy Malcolm Wicks.
WDCS is concerned about the impact on dolphins if exploration goes ahead in a protected zone.
Oil & Gas UK has said any operations would be strictly regulated.