Ceredigion Marine Code

Boat users: You can make a real difference!

Cardigan Bay is of international importance for its marine life, including the largest population of bottlenose dolphins in Europe. Dolphins thrive here because it offers everything they need to live and raise their young. Marine mammals such as dolphins, porpoises and seals are protected by law and are vulnerable to both collision and disturbance.
Fast, highly maneuverable boats present the greatest threats to these animals. Why? Because the under-water noise from their propellers can affect the dolphin’s ability to communicate, navigate and hunt for prey.
The faster a boat travels the noisier it is, and the less likely it is that the skipper will see any marine mammals ahead.
Not only motor boats disturb wildlife. Animals approached by any kind of vessel, including kayaks, paddle boards and sail boats, tend to stop what they are doing, such as feeding, and move away. Repeated disturbance, especially in important feeding areas, can reduce the animals’ chances of survival and may force them from the area entirely. Females with young calves are particularly vulnerable.
Results of ‘Dolphin Watch’ show that following the Ceredigion Marine Code really does reduce disturbance. Our monitoring work shows that dolphins are more likely to approach boats when the Ceredigion Marine Code is followed.
The Code is distributed to all mooring holders, it is also available to  visitors’ launching at Ceredigion harbours.  Information panels informing water users about about the Ceredigion Marine Code and the Cardigan Bay SAC are located at launching sites.

For more information contact the Cardigan Bay Marine Protected Area Officer, Melanie Heath:  melanie.heath2@ceredigion.gov.uk or call 01545 561074.