The Green Blue is launching a new wildlife guide for boaters today to coincide with and celebrate United Nations’ World Wildlife Day.
The UK has an amazing array of marine wildlife, from the magnificent basking shark and the bottlenose dolphin to the unmistakable puffin and stunning razorbill. It’s not uncommon for recreational boaters to come across these and other curious and charismatic creatures when they’re out on the water.
The Green Wildlife Guide for Boaters, the latest addition to The Green Blue’s suite of handy leaflets, is designed to advise boaters on how to get the best experience out of their wildlife encounters by acting responsibly and cautiously to minimize the risk of disturbance while keeping participants and their boats safe.
With beautiful illustrations created by Pete Galvin, the key message to boaters who find themselves close to marine wildlife is to think speed, and be steady, predictable, quiet and cautious. The guide also provides up-to-date contact information for boaters who wish to record sightings, or who come across strandings. It also signposts boaters to further sources of information on protected species and relevant legislation.
Jane Swan, The Green Blue project manager, said: ‘Boaters are always keen to learn more about the wildlife they enjoy while out on their boats. This new guide offers some very practical tips on what to do if you spot something or if something chooses to approach you. The excitement of the moment is understandable, but it’s always important to know how to enjoy the experience without risking you, your boat or the animals themselves.’
To complement the guide, The Green Blue is also launching Writing a Green Wildlife Guide for Boaters to help non-boating specific organisations when developing local codes of practice for water users.
RYA planning and environment manager, Emma Barton, said: ‘We’re delighted to be launching these guides in time for the summer boating season ahead, and very pleased that Natural England, the Marine Management Organisation, Scottish Natural Heritage and The Wildlife Trusts are supporting this initiative. It’s important that we all continue to work together in this area to encourage best practice as widely as possible.’
To find out more about The Green Blue visit www.thegreenblue.org.uk
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