You want to see all the fantastic marine life in the flesh? Aces! But always make sure you choose a reputable company. We have seen and heard of various tour operators cornering, chasing and even bumping into marine life!
See if they are affiliated with a scientific organisation, look at reviews, check if they are associated with WiSe, or ask around. When you start talking to tour operators, you’ll soon get a feel as to whether they’re more interested in money or the welfare of animals.
Obviously we're a little bit biased, but all boats run by Manx tour operators set a fantastic example to others further afield.
Can I touch that?
Most animals you find in rock pools around the UK and in Manx waters are okay to handle. Obviously watch out for spines on urchins or fish and pincers on crabs or lobsters.
But consider this, you’ve decided to do a little rock pooling. You find something you like the look of and can’t resist getting a little closer, but how should you pick it up and how long should you handle it for?
The most important thing to remember is always be gentle with what you find in rock pools! Most of the favourites such as starfish can be very brittle and arms may fall off if you are too rough! No one wants to amputate a starfish!
Make sure your hands are wet and hold them very gently over the water in case you drop them. Never handle rock pool organisms for longer than you need to. They belong in the water after all!
We’d love to see your pictures and help you identify any critters!
When it comes to your personal preference, some fish choices are incredibly harmful to the marine environment, either due to them being unsustainable choices or requiring harmful fishing practices for capture.
Choose fish that are caught responsibly (they will have an MCS sticker on the packet) and with methods that are green such as pot caught or hand lined. If you must go farmed, at least choose organically farmed.
If you can, avoid these vulnerable species that can commonly be found when shopping or dining out:
- Bluefin tuna
- King or tiger prawns
- Wild Atlantic halibut
If the price hasn’t put you off already, your fish choices can be a fintastic (sorry) way to help marine life! The Marine Conservation Society has a brilliant app and a handy pocket sized leaflet listing the fish you should and shouldn’t be avoiding.
Something else you should be aware of is that some fish and chip shops will sell a critically endangered shark called the spiny dogfish, instead of your normal fish supper! Talk about false advertising!
Short and sweet...
Take it home with you or use a bin lazybones, that’s all we have to say on this matter.
You’ve had a good (lets be optimistic) fishing trip either from land or out at sea. It’s been such a good trip you can’t wait to get home or down to the pub to exercise some serious bragging rights. But, hang on a second… what happened to that discarded bit of wire/rope you forgot about or snagged on a rock?
To be blunt, one of the many places it might end up may be wrapped around a seal’s neck, in a choking, sleeping with the fishes kinda way.
Discarded fishing tackle contributes to some truly awful demises; even Quentin Tarrantino couldn’t think them up!
We will be doing our part and trying to get support and funding to install some fishing wire bins in popular fishing areas. Until then, your pocket or bag is just as good!
Being as good a fisher as you are, I’m sure you know all the basics such as fish at high tide to avoid snagging, use hooks that will straighten and use biodegradable line. If you’d like any more top tips, then please get in touch with us at