Recreation : Guidelines : Wildlife watching

Guidelines for wildlife watching, including seal and dolphin watching

European marine features where activity takes place

Code of practice

Useful addresses

In 1994, the number of people watching seals and dolphins on commercial trips was approximately 15,000 (personal communication), but many more people watch seals and dolphins informally from private boats and from the shore.

European marine features where activity takes place


Likely to occur

Unlikely to occur

Sand dunes




Mud and Sand Flats




Inlets and Bays






Sea Caves


Grey Seal


Common Seal


Bottlenose Dolphin



Codes of practice

Guidelines to minimise disturbance to cetaceans from whale watching operation and from recreational activities available from DETR

The Scottish Marine Wildlife Operators are currently developing a voluntary code of practice

The Dolphin Space Programme Available from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

A report called Seal Watching in the UK and Republic of Ireland published by International Fund for Animal Welfare also contains useful information on seal watching

Useful addresses

Seal Conservation Society IFAW

25 Mallwick Road Warren Court

Aberdeen Park Road

Scotland Crowborough

AB16 6RF East Sussex


Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

Alexander House

James Street West




Characteristics of activity and management issues associated with wildlife watching

Summary of potential environmental impacts associated with wildlife watching


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