Binoculars will be provided to boat trip operators in Ceredigion in a bid to reduce wildlife disturbance.

Ninety pairs of binoculars have been purchased through the Welsh Government Enabling Natural Resources and Well-being Grant.

Through a voluntary code of conduct Ceredigion County Council works closely with the trip boat operators to encourage them to maintain a safe distance from marine wildlife.

Melanie Heath, the Cardigan Bay Marine Protected Area Officer, said: “The binoculars are freely available to passengers to enhance their wildlife watching experience.

"It will increase their understanding and appreciation of the special wildlife we have here.

"The southern end of Cardigan Bay is an internationally important summer feeding and calving area for bottlenose dolphins.

"The area also includes valuable grey seal haul outs and pupping beaches, and nationally important sea bird colonies.

"We have provided the trip boat operators with binoculars in the hope that this will reduce instances of wildlife trip boats approaching animals too closely.”

Councillor Rhodri Evans, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration said: “Cardigan Bay is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC); a protected area that is home to a variety of special marine animals and plants, including bottlenose dolphins.

"We are thrilled that the contribution of binoculars will allow visitors to have an enriched experience of the wildlife in the area, while boat operators can ensure that any disturbance can be avoided.”

To keep the local wildlife safe while out on the water, visitors are asked to look out for wildlife, keep a distance, reduce speed and reduce sound.

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