Operation Seabird 2022
Thu, 14 Apr 2022

The launch of this year's Operation Seabird will take place on Thursday 14 April, with organisations across the coast coming together to raise awareness of Yorkshire's spectacular wildlife. 

First launched in August 2020, the Yorkshire Marine Nature Partnership (YMNP) will be supporting this day of action, as the coastline prepares for the Easter break.  The day will involve visible police patrols along the Yorkshire coast to look out for disturbance and antisocial behaviour, and offer advice to visitors about how they can minimise their impact on marine wildlife.

The coast will, once again, be a big part of  holiday plans, as many head to Yorkshire's beaches over Easter and into summer.  We share the coast with thousands of breeding seabirds, resident porpoises and seals, and visiting pods of whales and dolphins. 

This wildlife is iconic and enthralling for many people, but it's important to make sure our activities don't cause stress or panic in the animals.  This could mean staying further away, avoiding going onto certain beaches, reducing the speed of your vessel, or simply being still and quiet. 

Operation Seabird was developed in 2020 and is a partnership led scheme that aims to raise awareness of wildlife disturbance caused by recreational activities.  Joining forces with both North Yorkshire and Humberside Police, Management Scheme, the Yorkshire Marine Nature Partnership, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the RSPCA, the Marine Management Organisation, and other local partners, Operation Seabird aims to provide uniformed presence at launch sites and around the coast to engage, educate and raise awareness of the sensitivities of the coastline.

The Yorkshire Marine Nature Partnership (YMNP) is a collaborative coastal partnership which aims to support and enhance Yorkshire's coastal and marine ecosystem.  Hosted by East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the YMNP works with a wide variety of organisations to highlight the importance of our marine environment to society, share knowledge and expertise and, promote active collaboration for the benefit of our natural resources.

Heather Davison-Smith, development officer for the Yorkshire Marine Nature Partnership, said: "Operation Seabird action days are a great opportunity to highlight how important our marine wildlife is, but also how sensitive it can be. 

"Through this initiative, and the Partnership's work around protected areas like Flamborough and Filey, we're really encouraging everyone to be mindful of their actions. The simple message is: Enjoy spending time in nature this summer, but leave space for wildlife. This applies whether you're at sea, walking your dog on the beach, or enjoying the cliff-top footpaths."

PC Rich Fussey, wildlife and heritage crime officer with Humberside Police, added: "The Yorkshire coastline is a fantastic landscape and an important feeding and breeding ground for a variety of seabirds and marine mammals.

"Unfortunately, we have a number of reports each year of members of the public approaching too closely to the wildlife that live in the area. 

"The key focus of Operation Seabird is to ensure that members of the public enjoy the Yorkshire coast in a responsible way.  We want to ensure they keep their distance from the wildlife to prevent disturbance and to safeguard this stretch of coastline, allowing future generations to enjoy the spectacle we see today."


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