In 2000, the international importance of certain features of the marine area was recognised and became designated as a Special Area of Conservation under the European Habitats Directive. These features include the subtidal sandbanks, reefs, sea caves and Grey seal population. By protecting these features, the habitats and species that are found there are monitored and safeguarded for the future.
As Lundy’s waters had been protected for some time, it was appropriate to place the UK’s first No Take Zone along its east coast. An area of 3.3.km2 is covered by the fisheries byelaw and within this area nothing (particularly plants and animals) can be taken, or added, up to the high water mark along the shoreline.
In 2010, Lundy’s Marine Nature Reserve became the UK’s first Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ), specifically for the protection of the Spiny lobster, Palinuras elephas, also known as a Crawfish, which is very rare. Under this protection, these lobsters cannot be fished and are protected by Devon and Severn IFCA byelaws as part of the MCZ designation.
Beccy MacDonald, Lundy Warden, ran a training session focusing on the wildlife of Lundy, the Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) and the No Take Zone, refreshing the knowledge we already had and updating us on the latest local details of each species. We discussed what we as boat operators can do to promote the conservation and to help to preserve the local wildlife and its habitat.
On completion of the course, and with a voluntary agreement to commit to the Lundy Seal Code of Conduct , we gained accreditation as a Lundy Wildlife Safari Operator.
Wildlife Safari Operator
Wildlife Safe Operator
The WiSe scheme is the UK standard for commercial marine wildlife watching.
WiSe (Wildlife Safe) aims to promote responsible wildlife-watching, through training, accreditation and raising awareness.
Recognising the need to develop and maintain the highest standards, they seek collaborative opportunities to work with like-minded organisations (nationally and internationally) to raise standards and develop new, workable initiatives.
The core element to WiSe is a modular training and accreditation course aimed primarily at operators of passenger pleasure craft, wildlife cruise operators, dive and service boats, and yacht skippers.
The training consists of instruction in how best to responsibly watch wildlife, whilst at the same time minimising any potential disturbance. As a WiSe accredited operator, we have received instruction in how to handle our craft during contact with any of these animals, how the animals may react to the presence of boats, and how to leave them room to carry on with their lives unimpeded.
During the training, we received instruction into local and national laws relating to wildlife. We also received instruction on species identification, history and behaviour of a range of species we may encounter in local waters. The final part of the accreditation was our voluntary agreement to abide by WiSe Codes of Conduct for all of the species covered by the organisation, as well as all relevant local or national laws and bylaws.
WiSe Codes of Conduct:
In January 2016, members of our team attended training run by the WiSe scheme and by Lundy Island (The Landmark Trust). Following the training sessions, we gained accreditation from both organisations. All links open in a new window. The Exmoor Magazine even featured skippers Stuart and Andrew (Lifeboat Trips and Lundy Diving)
Lundy has been pioneering marine conservation in the UK for over 40 years. In 1971, the waters around Lundy were designated as the first Voluntary Marine Nature Reserve, becoming the first statutory Marine Nature Reserve in 1986.