Marine & Coastal Code

Marine & Coastal Code

Cornwall’s coastal and marine wildlife is so essential to our economy, our well being and enjoyment of a beautiful Cornwall but it is under pressure. Marine wildlife needs our help and respect.

The Cornwall Marine and Coastal Code aims to minimise the effect to marine and coastal wildlife from encounters with people, making your marine and coastal encounter great for wildlife.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust has joined forces with the RSPBCornwall Seal Group, National Trust, Marine Stranding Network and the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), Cornwall Council, Devon and Cornwall Police Marine & Coastal Policing Team, the Marine Managment Organisation (MMO) and Natural England to tackle the important issue of marine wildlife disturbance and raise the issue of the protection of our coastal wildlife through the development of these web pages and the Cornwall Marine and Costal Code Group.

You can find out more on the CMCCG Website!

Our key messages:

  • Learn: find out first. Learn as much as you can about what wildlife you might see where and know the best way to act around it. This will help you improve your chances of great sightings.
  • See: be alert whilst out and about.
  • Respect: act appropriately and aim to leave wildlife as you found it.
  • Report: see the big picture. Understand that our coastal and marine wildlife has numerous encounters with people. Tell us about your sighting and any disturbance you see.

What YOU can do to help - take home messages:

  • Give the animals SPACE and TIME (Guiding principles)!
  • Check this website for sensitive wildlife sites
  • Expect the unexpected – be alert and get prepared
  • Observe from a distance – use binoculars if you can
  • Look for signs you’ve been spotted by wildlife and avoid actions that scare, startle or panic them
  • Large groups and mothers with young are best avoided completely
  • If you decide to move closer, approach side on, around the outside making sure the animal/s have a clear escape route
  • Be patient and wait downwind, move predictably, steadily and slowly
  • Be calm and quiet while you enjoy your encounter
  • Be considerate, back off and move on to keep your encounter brief
  • Leave wildlife and the environment as you found it
  • Report sightings or species / disturbance incidents to the hotline 0345 201 26 26

Find the full Cornwall Marine and Coastal Code Toolkit HERE!

Have you seen a disturbance incident?

If you've witnessed a incident of marine wildlife disturbance, please report it as soon as possible!

Report to the Disturbance Hotline: 0345 201 2626

If possible and safe to do so, it is very helpful to get photos or better yet video of the incident and take a note of any registration or identification numbers which could help identify the individuals involved. The information you provide will be shared with the relevant enforcement to help with any investigations, but you can remain anonymous if you prefer.

CMCCG and the disturbance hotline comply with GDPR rules. 

Bottlenose Dolphin harassment by CMCCG

Cornwall’s dolphins and porpoises need your help

Our dolphins and porpoises face numerous threats, and unless we act now, they could be lost from our waters. A donation to our appeal could help us to stop their suffering and protect their presence in our Cornish seas. 

I want to help!