Content can be downloaded for non-commercial purposes, such as for personal use or in educational resources.
For commercial purposes please contact the copyright holder directly.
Read more about the The Creative Archive Licence.


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 changes he has seen in the population of Atlantic grey seals around New Quay, Ceredigion, in the last 10 - 15 years.
Recollection as follows:
"Then we’ve got the seals. In-between Birds Rock and the Caves, the seals that used to haul out there – it was nothing to see 10 or 12 round there. But you are lucky to see 1 or 2 these days.
Where have they gone? Have they left because of disturbance?
Because it’s not just the trip boats – at the same time as the wildlife trips have increased, there has been a huge increase in paddleboards and canoes…a massive increase it has been! You can see them all parked down there in the racks. Whereas we used to worry about the odd speedboat tearing around – when Bob Morris was around in the 80s, that was his concern then that there were more speedboats around then there used to be. He would jump up and down if he saw the disturbance from the number of paddleboards and canoes now.
But where have those seals gone – is it disturbance, is it the trip boats, is it the canoeists who love to go round to the rocks – because that’s the first thing they want to do, go in and among the rocks – is the population dropping off, are they somewhere else, or are they not around anymore?
I think there has been quite a bit of tangle netting in the past few years, and I know they catch seals in the tangle nets – I know that’s happening.
Why have we lost those animals that used to be there? Because they’d tolerate Winston going past them all day long in the Catherine Harding. He would go past there, lift his pots, and go on…he’d obviously scare a few off. But he did that for years, and we hadn’t seen the drop in numbers that we’ve got now. That is a really serious, very obvious difference – it’s quite worrying – and that’s just in the last 10 or 15 years."
To learn more about Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, please visit:

Do you have information to add to this item? Please leave a comment

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to leave a comment