Lying where warm southern waters meet cold nutrient rich currents from the north, Welsh seas are special in many ways. Hidden beneath the waves are landscapes every bit as varied as those found above water - with undersea cliffs, exposed offshore reefs, calm sheltered inlets, and dangerous tidal rapids. These create an extraordinary range of habitats, supporting a breath-taking variety of wildlife.
Did you know that the world’s second largest fish, the majestic basking shark, or the largest marine turtle in the world can be found in Welsh waters? Have you ever seen a nesting puffin on Skomer Island or a pod of playful dolphins in Cardigan Bay? Our Welsh coast offers an array of opportunities for you to enjoy the sea around Wales.
It is now seven years since the introduction of the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009). This landmark act provides a fantastic opportunity to effectively manage our seas, and reduce the pressure on our marine wildlife. Wales is taking steps towards this in developing its marine policy. This includes plans to holistically manage marine activities such as new developments, fisheries activities, and deliver a complete marine protected area network.
Wales is also aspiring to meet Good Environmental Status of its marine waters by 2020. In order to do this a range of management measures need to be introduced to tackle the problems that our marine environment faces, from finding ways to stop litter entering the sea, to minimising underwater man-made noise, to controlling invasive species.
The next few years could be remembered as the most important period in history for the protection of Welsh seas, but now is the time to act.