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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 the origins of Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, specifically his history of angling.

Recollection as follows:

"Yeah, I’ll just quickly run through how and why we started the centre.

So, I used to do a lot of wildlife stuff anyway, but at the same time I was doing angling trips – which I hated doing. I didn’t enjoy that at all, I was never an angler – I liked catching bass or mackerel for the plate, but anything beyond that I’m not really interested in. Anyway, I used to take people over to Ireland, and I used to do a lot of wildlife stuff as well.

With the angling, I’d taken it as far as I could. So, we were doing offshore wreck fishing, which we’d developed from doing the 'bucket-and-spade' short trips – two, four, eight hours. To the wreck fishing, we found these wrecks about halfway to Ireland, about 30-miles offshore, deep-water wrecks. This was what everyone wanted to do on the South coast. A lot of the boats were doing offshore wreck fishing trips…and we’d found these wrecks with big fish: 18.5 pollock – massive fish! And that’s what the anglers all wanted.

And then what they wanted to do down on the South Coast – I can’t remember which islands they used to go to, there’s the Scillies and the Channel Islands…So, I decided to do an Irish trip! So, we’d go halfway to Ireland, we’d fish the wrecks, and then we’d go into Southern Ireland; we’d go to Wexford and spend a day fishing around Wexford and Tuskar Rock…They were three day trips, one day over to Ireland, fishing the wrecks; one day fishing around Wexford and Tuskar Rock; and one day fishing the wrecks on the way back."

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

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