Wildlife and Habitats

The UK has an amazing array of marine wildlife and habitats, and as a recreational boater you may come across some extraordinary and charismatic creatures from seabirds, whales, dolphins and seals to sharks and turtles.

Whilst it might be tempting to get a little closer to see more, remember that marine wildlife is just that - wild. All types of watercraft have the potential to cause disturbance, so follow our simple green guide to keep marine wildlife disturbance to a minimum, get the best experience out of your encounters and keep you and your boat safe.

Remember to look out for advice and marine codes wherever you choose to go boating as they can offer a wealth of information on what species you might see, any special characteristics and any local protections you need to be aware of.

It is also worth noting the legislation that protects wildlife in the UK. This includes the Marine Acts, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Habitats Regulations. Most of the marine wildlife and many habitats you will see around the UK are protected. Offences might be summarised as intentionally (or, in Scotland, recklessly) killing, injuring or taking a protected species, without a lawful excuse; and intentionally or recklessly destroying, damaging or obstructing a protected species’ place of shelter or protection, or disturbing a protected species while within it, without a lawful excuse.

Take a look at The Green Blue's Green Wildlife Guide for Boaters to find how to minimise disturbance when you spot or are approached by wildlife out on the water.

The Green Wildlife Guide for Boaters