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Operation to protect marine wildlife underway on Yorkshire Coast

Last modified: 1 April 2021 at 02:48pm

Police are working with partners to help protect seabirds and marine mammals on the Yorkshire Coast.

Operation Seabird was launched in 2020 on the coastline of North and East Yorkshire to tackle disturbance to marine wildlife. It is a partnership-led initiative combining involving North Yorkshire Police and Humberside Police along with the RSPCA, Yorkshire Marine Nature Partnership, the Flamborough Head European Marine Site Management Scheme, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

The operation is aimed at raising awareness and preventing disturbance to marine wildlife.

From this week it is anticipated our coastlines will be busier, at a time when  seabirds are returning to their  breeding colonies and seals and cetaceans are being seen close inshore.

As a result police officers and the RSPCA will be undertaking high-profile patrols from 1 April to look out for potential disturbance and increase awareness about Operation Seabird.

Operation Seabird welcomes the support of the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) this year, enhancing partnership working to tackle this increasing concern.

Geoff Edmond, RSPCA Inspectorate National Wildlife Coordinator, said: “After the success of Operation Seabird last year it is encouraging to see that this will continue throughout 2021.

“High-visibility patrols will again take place between the police and the RSPCA with new partners like the MMO joining us to continue to raise awareness and educate about the need to not disturb our seabird and seal colonies along with our visiting cetaceans. We hope that watching these can be enjoyed but at a safe and sensible distance.”

Sergeant Stuart Grainger, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “We’re extremely fortunate to have a coastline that supports such a wide variety of marine wildlife – and it’s important we all do our bit to protect it.

“Our key focus is to ensure that members of the public using the waters along the Yorkshire coast do so in a responsible way. By keeping disruption to an absolute minimum, we will help these animals thrive, and ensure future generations can enjoy their presence too.”

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