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New Seabird and Marine Mammal Code of Conduct published

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Friday 22 March 2024

A new Seabird and Marine Mammal Code of Conduct has been published today to help people enjoy observing Guernsey and Herm's wildlife without causing stress or disturbance to the animals.

Amongst other guidance, the new Code of Conduct includes useful information about how these animals can be negatively impacted by interaction with people and what sort of behaviour seabirds and marine mammals display when people get too close.

The new Code of Conduct can be viewed in full at gov.gg/givewildlifeachance.

Julia Henney, Senior Natural Environment Officer, said:

"In Guernsey and Herm we are privileged to be able to catch glimpses of puffins, dolphins, seals and many other marine mammals and seabirds, which are part of what makes Guernsey such a wonderful place to live.

"We want to ensure that this wildlife can be enjoyed by many people for many years to come, which is why it's important that we do what we can to help protect and support these animals. Whilst there is a lot of work carried out by government and the third-sector, every islander has an opportunity to give our wildlife a chance through the way in which we observe these animals.

"We know that many people are very careful and respectful around seabirds and marine mammals, but not everyone will necessarily know when they might be getting a little bit too close to wildlife. This Code of Conduct includes lots of helpful guidance to make sure that we're observing wildlife in a way that doesn't cause them distress, enabling them to focus their resources on breeding and feeding their young so that we can enjoy this wildlife for generations to come."

Nicky Harris, Coordinator, DolFin, said:

"We're glad to have been able to contribute towards the updated guidance and code of conduct that ACLMS has devised for marine wildlife. Our Bailiwick waters play a critical role for an array of bird and marine mammals, including increasingly threatened and rare species.

"While the vast majority of locals and tourists that venture out to sea have been respectful while watching these animals, it's great to have a very clear document of how to observe and interact with marine animals that's now consistent with UK recommendations."

Julie Davis, Secretary, Ornithology Section of La Societe Guernesiaise, said:

"Disturbance is a concern, particularly with ground nesting birds, as the island's population increases. This leaflet is very welcome because it will help to raise awareness when people are out and about more in the spring and summer."

Photo credit - Nicky Harris

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