Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum, the company behind the Pembrokeshire Marine Code, have developed an innovative way of protecting our coastline.
Working with local boat tour operator Tenby Boat Trips, Marine Code buoys have been deployed around Caldey and St. Margaret’s Island with the aim of protecting the wildlife found along these coastlines.
Caldey Island is an SSSI and has a grey seal population of approximately 100, while St. Margaret’s Island is a designated Nature Reserve, and is a nesting ground for many Atlantic sea birds.
There have been concerns surrounding the behaviour of some leisure users around these areas and there have been reports of kayakers consistently getting too close to the seals. Personal water craft have also been recorded disturbing protected species.
The buoys have been placed to mark the boundaries for key wildlife areas around the island, to encourage water users to slow down and keep their distance.
This project is the first of its kind in Wales, and the request for this new novel approach came directly from wildlife tour boat operators. As members of the Marine Code these operators also follow the voluntary codes of conduct in order to reduce the potential for disturbance of wildlife.
Angus Dunlop, owner of Tenby Boat Trips, said: “This is the third year these buoys have been deployed around Caldey Island and they are having a real impact of reducing wildlife disturbance in the area. With the summer upon us, the waters are starting to get really busy and so it is important that we do everything we can to protect Pembrokeshire’s wildlife, by raising awareness and educating people.”
Paul Renfro, sustainable recreation manager at Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum, said: “The buoys are in the water to promote the message of the Marine Code, the aim of which is to protect Pembrokeshire’s amazing wildlife. It’s great to have Tenby Boat Trips as a partner in this project deploying the buoys and monitoring them throughout the season. Having a tour boat operator at the centre of this project is really positive for us, as we continue to work with similar companies across the county.”
For more information about the Pembrokeshire Marine Code, visit the website or download the app by searching ‘Pembrokeshire Marine Code’ in your app store. This is free to download and is available on iOS or Android devices.www.pembrokeshiremarinecode.org.uk