OPERATION Seabird Cymru, a national campaign which aims to protect animals living on the coastline, is taking place in North Wales this summer.
During the spring and summer months, North Wales attracts hundreds of tourists to its coastline.
This brings increases in recreational activities such as boating, kayaking, paddleboarding and more, which has the potential to disturb wildlife if not conducted in a safe and responsible manner.
Operation Seabird Cymru aims to engage and educate the public about the sensitivities of the coastline, and how simple changes in their behaviour could reduce pressure on our unique wildlife.
If you’re out and about along the coast this summer, we’re asking you to remember that any activity has the potential to cause disturbance to wildlife, if not conducted in a responsible and safe manner.
To reduce disturbance to sensitive wildlife whilst on the water, we advise the following:
Keep your distance: Keep a safe distance (at least 100m) from the cliffs, rafting seabirds and marine mammals, allowing space for animals to move away from you.
No-wake speed: Motorised vessels and personal watercraft should travel at a no-wake speed within 300m of the cliffs or shore.
Avoid enclosed spaces: All motorised and non-motorised vessels should avoid entering caves and travelling through archways where breeding seabirds or resting seals are present.
Be aware: If an animal’s behaviour changes in response to your presence, move away quickly and quietly.
Sergeant Peter Evans of the North Wales Police Rural Crime Team said: “Over the next few weeks, we will be present at launch sites and around the North Wales coast, visiting businesses and educating and engaging with the public to raise awareness of the problems some recreational activities can cause to our coastline wildlife.
“The aim of the operation, in partnership with local authorities, the RSPCA, RSPB, Natural Resources Wales and North Wales Wildlife Trust is to educate those people who use our coastal areas and seas and to enable them to enjoy our wildlife safely and without disturbance.
“Some can be unaware of the effect they can have on coastal birds and mammals if they act irresponsibly along the coastline.
“A disturbance can have a devastating effect on certain species and their habitats and with simple education and engagement we can help prevent it from happening.”
If you see someone causing a significant disturbance to wildlife along the coastline you can report it by calling 101, or via the website.
More information is available here – Operation Seabird | North Wales Police