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Boaters Best Practice - Wildlife

Follow The Green Blue’s top tips to make the most of your encounters with wildlife.

  • Small craft can reach shallow, more sensitive areas. Avoid stirring up the bottom unduly or disturbing vegetation and wildlife
  • Take care where you anchor, there may be restrictions in place. Check pilot books, charts and any local guides for information on places to avoid. If a spot is suspiciously quiet, look for any signs which may indicate a no anchoring zone
  • When going ashore use recognise landing places
  • Keep your distance when you spot wildlife. Use your binoculars to get a close up look
  • Never separate mother and young
  • Slow down if you are creating excess wash
  • Be aware that flapping sails can present a flash of colour and loud noises which can disturb wildlife
  • Find out if the areas you visit are protected and why. There may be vulnerable seabed species or habitats
  • Keep a record of your wildlife sightings and report them to Marlin, Seawatch foundation or the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.


  • Keep to the designated speed limit, check with the navigation authority or pilot book if in doubt. Do not exceed 4knots if you are unsure
  • Slow down if you are creating excessive wash
  • Good engine trim, matching speed and conditions will reduce wash and fuel consumption
  • Good use of throttle and boat handling skills will reduce wash and improve fuel efficiency
  • The further a craft is from the bank the less impact its wash will have. Try to keep a safe, reasonable distance between yourself and the bank


  • Keep a constant speed and direction when you spot cetaceans. 
  • Watch the WiSE video on how to watch wildlife responsibly