Thursday, 5 August 2010

Far better or worse?

I have been spending a little time in Newquay this week with Sea Trust and CBMWG volunteers, looking at what happened there with regards to codes of practice and general awareness as against Ramsay Sound. One obvious difference is that the majority of vessels involved in nature tourism in Newquay are relatively big and slow hard boats rather than fast RHIBs as are predominant in Ramsay Sound.

I really think the majority of Ramsay Skippers would prefer not to be disturbing the wildlife but in a way the power and speed of the RHIBs set the scenario.The hard boats don't have to slow down as they are generally cruising at well under ten knots. Having said that whenever I saw them in the vicinity of Dolphins around Newquay harbour, they seemed to be aware of the Dolphins presence and acted accordingly, slowing down further but continuing on their way, diverting if neccessary.

On the other hand it was pretty busy with other powered craft and paddled vessels making their way in and around the harbour.This scenario left a bit to be desired with powered boats leaving the harbour quite fast and perhaps not totally aware of, or ignoring the presence of the dolphins.

A few canoests were also out there, the majority were well behaved including the dude in the photo yesterday. He kept position and the dolphins passed close by.

Today canoes drove a mother and calf out of the bay, also another individual adult, not so good...

The Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Group Volunteers keep a record of all boat records in and out of the harbour and the different interactions with marine wildlife . There are large yellow bouys denoting the speed limits within 300yds

It’s always going to be a problem but I believe we need some clear guidance for all water users and some way of policing it. our aim must be to protect the wildlife that is not merely a life enhancing feature of our coast but also of massive economic benefit to places like St David's and Newquay.