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Steve Hartley is the founder of Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, New Quay. He now runs Dolphin Survey Boat Trips, however previously fished the waters of Cardigan Bay.

A member of our Living Seas Team sat down with Steve, to discuss his memories of life in the Bay. Here, he discusses how attention began to grow on the bottlenose dolphins found in Cardigan Bay.

Recollection as follows:

"Before I got Sulaire, I’d been taking Dr Bob Morris out in the Linda Lloyd. He came along to do some research, and he chartered me to take him out putting hydrophones out – it was amazing because he was funded by the Admiralty and was paying me £150 a day, which was a lot of money in those days! So that was really cool! I did work with him, then got the Sulaire.

So, there was growing attention coming to the dolphins – it was the first bit of attention for them with Bob Morris...I think Greenpeace had swung in there by then with their boat. I’ve got a newspaper cut-out; I could get the exact date of when they came in. They came in with Rainbow Warrior and said there were only 8 dolphins left in Cardigan Bay.

We had a big meeting in the Wellington, and, for some reason, I was representing the general boating public. I can remember saying: 'what do you think you’re doing? You’re raising the profile of these animals…we’ll have every man and his dog coming down now and chasing the dolphins and looking at them – just what’s happened'. And they were saying: 'well, it’s a double-edged sword Steve' – was their answer… you have to raise the profile to protect them. But the protection hasn’t come in the quantity that the profile has been raised – if you get what I mean."

To learn more about Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, please visit:

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