One of the accompanying delights of going sailing is watching the wildlife - but how much better if you had a reference point while watching. Now, for UK sailors only, sadly, a new digital marine wildlife guide for iPad and iPhone has now been launched for United Nations World Wildlife Day, by The Green Blue, the joint environment project of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and the British Marine Federation (BMF).
The Green Marine Wildlife Guide provides interactive touch based illustrations of marine wildlife together with an interactive map of the UK revealing what marine wildlife we can expect to see around the coast through the year.
For instance, from May onwards the gentle giant of the basking shark can be seen in waters off the UK’s south west coast as they head up north for their annual migration. Whilst in the North East grey seals are a common sighting.
There are also top tips for spotting marine wildlife and importantly guidance on how to avoid disturbing or hurting them.
Recent changes to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Amended, provide protection for these animals from disturbance. Anyone caught disturbing wildlife can now be prosecuted.
Jane Swan The Green Blue Project Manager, 'There is a code of conduct and clear guidelines on what to do if you see a marine animal which will help people on the water to stay on the right side of the law whilst enjoying the experience. They include advice on how much time you should spend near the animals and how much clearance you should give them.'
'The golden rule when watching cetaceans or any other marine wildlife is to be aware of any change in their behaviour which may signify disturbance.'
'Today is UN World Wildlife Day, a moment in the year to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora, including cetaceans and other marine animals, and to raise awareness of how best we can appreciate and protect them whilst out on the water.'
To explore the digital edition of the Green Marine Wildlife Guide, download the free ‘RYA Books’ app from iTunes and touch the ‘Catalogues and Brochures’ to find the publication. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/rya-books/id451481707
Pity it's only for the UK... what about the rest of the world?