The Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code SMWWC
With a coastline stretching over 18,000 km, Scotland enjoys an abundance of marine wildlife. With so many of us spending time watching this wildlife, whether simply for pleasure or as part of commercial activities, it is important that we act responsibly.
From curious seals atop rocky outcrops to whale fins gliding through choppy waters, and whether catching a glimpse of an elusive otter or admiring flocks of waders and waterfowl at our beaches and estuaries, there’s so much to see off Scotland’s coasts.
So whether you’re a tour guide, a marine user who encounters marine wildlife or simply a hobbyist or day-tripper, this code of conduct can help you minimise any disturbance to Scotland’s marine life and stay within the law. It could even help improve your chances of seeing wildlife.
Produced in line with the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act, this booklet is split into three sections: on the coast, on the sea and in the sea. Providing recommendations, advice and information on watching marine wildlife, this concise code can make wildlife watching experiences more enjoyable and rewarding for all.
Disclaimer: Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has changed its name to NatureScot as of the 24th August 2020.
At the time of publishing, this document may still refer to Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and include the original branding. It may also contain broken links to the old domain.
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