Fishermen team up with conservationists to protect marine wildlife

Date: 16/02/2017

Steven Harrison, Local Fisherman

Fishermen team up with conservationists to protect marine wildlife

 Fishermen on the Llyn peninsula are helping to spread the word about how to use coastal waters without disturbing wildlife.

 The Llŷn Pot Fishermen Association will be sharing a marine code of conduct with recreational boat and jet-ski users.

 The code promotes responsible behaviour when boat users are around dolphins, harbour porpoises and other wildlife.

 The fishermen have also agreed to report any cases of wildlife harassment to the police.

 The marine code of conduct was developed last year by the Llŷn Marine Ecosystems Project, a project led by the Pen Llŷn a’r Sarnau Special Area of Conservation, the Welsh Fishermen Association and others, with support from Natural Resources Wales.

 Molly Lovatt, partnership funding officer for Natural Resources Wales said: “The fishermen are out at sea for long periods, and are best placed to promote the marine code with recreational boat users and report irresponsible behaviour if needed.

 “We’re really grateful for their help which will benefit marine wildlife, and make for a more pleasant environment for local people and visitors as well.”

 Steven Harrison, a local fisherman who sells his catch in the Sblash chip shop in Aberdaron said: “This is a perfect example of how the fishing industry can work with conservation bodies to find an effective joint approach to conserving and managing our rich marine environment so that future generations can continue to benefit from and enjoy it.”

 Following Gwynedd’s lead, the marine code is now being adopted in Anglesey and Conwy with funding from Natural Resources Wales.

 Key points from the code are:

  • Take extra care to avoid disturbing animals with young
  • Keep a safe distance from any wildlife
  • Deliberate or reckless disturbance of any protected species is a crime

 The Llŷn Marine Ecosystems Project works with partners to improve the resilience of the marine environment without having a detrimental impact on local anglers and communities. It is also tasked with improving everyone’s understanding of the marine environment.