Fersiwn Gymraeg ar gael yma.

The seas around the Welsh coast are busier than ever this year, with many thousands of people choosing the ‘staycation’ option over a foreign holiday. 

Late summer and early autumn are also busy times for marine wildlife in Wales. It is therefore vital that coastal holidaymakers are aware of the correct way to behave, to ensure our marine mammals and other animals remain safe and people stay on the right side of the law. 

 There has been an upsurge in the use of Personal Water Craft (PWC or ‘jet skis’) across Welsh waters. These fast-moving vehicles have the potential to cause problems quickly; flushing seabirds from ledges, separating dolphin calves from mothers or causing grey seals to abandon pups. Indeed, incidents of wildlife disturbance have been logged from RSPB South Stack on Anglesey in north Wales down to RSPB Ramsey Island in Pembrokeshire. Similar issues can be caused by Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) and small pleasure craft. In addition, it is not only fast moving and noisy vessels that have the potential to cause issues; kayakers and paddle boarders can cause as much disturbance if trips aren’t carefully planned. 

Keeping our distance

 The grey seal pupping season will soon get underway in Pembrokeshire. Ramsey Island has the biggest colony in Pembrokeshire, accounting for around 600 pups born each year. Lots of seals are also born around the remainder of Wales too. Avoiding both the pupping beaches themselves and the surrounding waters during this period is imperative. Disturbance can cause cows to abandon their pups; leaving them to starve.  

Further out to sea, dolphins and porpoises will be feeding and migrating through Welsh seas, often with young calves in tow. If you encounter these animals please keep your distance, avoid coming between mother and calves and never chase animals. 

We recommend reading the local marine code for the area of coast you are visiting to find out more:

The Wild Seas Wales website also has lots of information about wildlife in Wales, where to spot marine animals and guidance on how to ensure your holiday activities are nature-friendly.

Want to know more about our marine wildlife work in Wales? Check out our latest blogs:


Ramsey Island - David Wootton (rspb-images.com)

Birdwatchers at South Stack - Ben Hall (rspb-images.com)

Grey seal at Ramsey- Ben Hall (rspb-images.com)