Police forces and local partners tackling and raising awareness of coastal wildlife crime.
Last week, (14 April 2022) police forces across Wales launched an initiative to raise awareness of the sensitive wildlife along the coastline and how our behaviour can impact these animals.
Working with the RSPCA, Natural Resources Wales, Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, RSPB and the Welsh Government to work towards a greater understanding of the delicate wildlife ecosystems along the coast.
PC Louise Burgess said: “We need to do all we can to protect our local marine mammals and seabirds. Across Gwent, there are a number of opportunities to witness marine wildlife in their natural habitat.
“This operation ensures their safety but also targets criminals who seek to exploit these vulnerable creatures.
“If you’re out and about along the Severn estuary or along the Welsh coastline, remember, any activity has the potential to cause distress to wildlife if not conducted in a responsible manner.”
To reduce the possibility of causing harm to our marine wildlife, we advise:
Look, do not disturb. Keep your distance – remain at least 100m from any cliffs, floating seabirds and marine mammals, allowing space for them to move away from you.
Keep your dogs on leads where there may be marine mammals on the shore or ground nesting birds.
If travelling along an estuary or coast line in a boat, ensure you are travelling at a no-wake speed within 300m of any cliffs, or the shore.
Be aware – if an animals behaviour changes in response to your presence, move away quickly and quietly.
If you do see someone causing a significant disturbance to wildlife along the coastline, we encourage you to engage with any police or environment agencies at the locations, DM us on Facebook/ Twitter or call 101.
If people have concerns about an animal, they should keep their distance and contact the RSPCA helpline on 0300 1234 999 (daily 7am-10pm).
You can keep up to date with all the work we, and other partner agencies are doing by following #OperationSeabirdCymru on social media.