What is the WiSe Scheme?
In all encounters that occur with marine wildlife, it is of primary importance that the safety and well being of the wildlife is respected. Otherwise, harm or disturbance may occur, making such encounters wholly unsustainable, and counter to the principals of wildlife safe watching.
There are Codes of Conduct for the different species presented here have been arrived at through many years of research and commercial experience, and have been designed to be straightforward, practical and ensure the safety not only of the animals being observed, but also of the watchers.
Whales, dolphins, porpoises and basking sharks are protected within the law under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (as amended), and the new Countryside and Rights of Way Act. It is an offence to kill or injure them, and it is also an offence to recklessly or intentionally disturb them. If you see anyone behaving in a manner likely to cause this type of disturbance, please report them to the police.
With rapidly increasing leisure use, our waters are becoming far busier, and this can place additional strains on wildlife already facing numerous man-made threats. It is in everyone’s interest to reduce disturbance of all marine wildlife to a minimum, and WiSe sets out to help you achieve this.
There is no reason why boats and marine life cannot co-exist, if care is taken to observe the rules set out in the WiSe Codes of Conduct.
By observing these Codes, and other local guidelines that are in place, water users will be empowered to avoid committing an offence and you will be reducing the risks and stress to the animals, whose well-being will be fundamental to the long-term success of your operation.
All commercial operators trained and accredited under the WiSe Scheme have an opportunity to lead the public, through demonstrating the example of best practice in the field and ensuring that all commercial operations are sustainable. In doing so you will be helping the long-term future of our precious marine life, for the benefit of future generations. For more information go to www.wisescheme.org