Naim Awal

BSc Environmental Conservation 

Project Title:

An Investigation to Determine Recreational Marine Vessels Adherence to Marine Code of Conduct in the Presence of Bottlenose Dolphins

Project Description

My dissertation entailed if the recreational boats adhered to the marine code of conduct in the presence of bottlenose dolphins in Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

Situated on the west coast of Wales, Cardigan Bay SAC is one of two major habitats for bottlenose dolphins in the UK with the population currently estimated to be between 200-300 in the area.

Approximately 8,000 bottlenose dolphins live around UK waters (JNCC, 2020), but substantial threats exist. Bottlenose dolphins and the SAC are legally protected under EU and UK legislation, yet the marine code of conduct is voluntary.

Marine mammals are increasingly exposed to threats caused by anthropogenic impacts, as well as natural impacts. Primary anthropogenic concerns are climate change, excessive nutrients in the water altering the food chain, and boat disturbances, exposing the risk of strandings caused by injuries by boat collisions and overfishing.

In an environment where marine mammals are exposed to harm by marine vessels causing injuries or death, the summary of the investigation is to understand if the success of the marine code of conduct in Cardigan Bay SAC by analysing the extent of the impact marine vessels has on bottlenose dolphin behaviour and cetacean strandings 

In 2018, I decided to study BSc Environmental Conservation as the course offers a wide variety of interesting aspects concerning the environment, from governance to conservation efforts.

I struggled to achieve my potential grades when I studied my A-levels between 2016-2018, but UWTSD gave me the opportunity, and offered me a place.

I plan to seek my first post in Ecology. In the future, I plan to study a master’s degree in the field of science or geography.

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