Seeing marine wildlife in their natural environment is a thrilling experience; however animals need space to find food, choose mates, raise young, socialize and rest.
When we get too close, approach too fast, or make too much noise, we can disrupt these natural behaviors and cause unnecessary stress to marine wildlife.
Any activity that disrupts the natural behaviors of marine wildlife is a disturbance. The severity of a disturbance is wide ranging. A disturbance can be as simple as a seabird showing signs of agitation by head-bobbing and beginning to move away from its nest or roost/rest site. Conversely, a disturbance can be as extreme as the loss of eggs or death of chicks or pups from trampling as the birds or marine mammals scatter away from the disturbance source.
Sources of disturbance include low-flying aircraft, a close-approaching boat or kayak, fireworks displays or hikers approaching too close.
Help protect marine wildlife by following these guidelines.