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Operation Seabird

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Come and speak to the Gower Seal Group team at Rhosili on 14 April at the NCI watch hut and 17 & 18 April near the Rhosili car park. 

Operation Seabird Guidelines

  • Don’t drive directly towards or through groups of animals

  • Your movement should be constant, steady and predictable

  • Maximum watch time 15 minutes

  • Travel at ‘no wake’ speed

  • Always allow animals an escape route and let them approach you

  • Ensure there are no more than 2 vessels around the animal at any one time

  • Keep noise to a minimum and remain calm

  • Don’t chase, swim with or feed the animal

Operation Seabird​

Operation Seabird is a partnership initiative originally developed around the Flamborough Head European Marine Site (EMS) due to the volume of wildlife disturbance caused by recreational activities. Operation Seabird 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.

Disturbance to marine mammals can take different forms, including
physical, physiological and noise disturbance. The guidelines set out as part of Operation Seabird will help us to cause the least amount of disturbance to them. For example, the guideline ‘Keep a minimum of 100 metres distance from the
animal/s’ reduces the risk of a vessel or watercraft striking an animal.
The guideline ‘Don’t drive directly towards or through groups of
animals’ reduces the risk of animals, especially mothers and calves
becoming separated, which can cause stress to the animals.
Finally, many marine mammals rely on sound to communicate and locate
prey and each other, so loud noise can intefer with these critical
functions and have wider impacts. These guidelines have been
developed to promote responsible and sustainable tourism and
recreation, as well as commercial operations on the water. All of the
above recommendations can limit the impact that human activities
have on marine mammals, ensuring disturbance is kept to a minimum.
It is in all our interests to ensure the long-term protection of these
special animals and the long-lasting enjoyment of them by generations.


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