There is a wealth of wildlife for you to see and enjoy throughout the British Isles and off our extensive coastline, but a lot of these animals are vulnerable to disturbance if not approached in a responsible way that respects their wild nature.
Industries and water users have a duty to protect wildlife and enhance the environment. We share the waters we use for our recreation with a wide range of birds, fish and cetaceans but the presence of boats should not necessarily have to mean disturbance to the local wildlife. If craft are handled with sensitivity there can be minimal or zero disturbance. Zoning of sensitive areas, speed restrictions, awareness of seasonal and geographical sensitivities, and education can all been used to mitigate the impact of boat use on wildlife.
For information on how to enjoy the wildlife you see whilst out boating and steps you can take to minimise your impact on it, see The Green Wildlife Guide for Boaters, or look on The Green Blue Website.
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) have also written guidance about marine wildlife disturbance.
In addition, by following The Green Blue guidance on related topics such as waste management, oil spill management and boat cleaning and maintenance, boat users can further reduce their impact on wildlife.
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