Call to ban jet skis to save dolphins
23rd June 2004
Irresponsible jet skiers have been accused of targeting dolphins off the Welsh coast.
Now there are calls for jet skis to be banned or controlled, so dolphin numbers can rise again.
It follows an incident when a trio of riders surrounded a group of bottle-nosed dolphins near Tywyn in Gwynedd.
The mammals were upset by the skiers' noise, say the RSPCA.
Sally Ann Shipley, Meirionnydd branch secretary, said: "One of the jet skiers used common sense and turned off the engine.
"But the other two acted irresponsibly and circled the dolphins to such an extent they became very agitated and started flapping their tails, a sure sign that they were distressed.
"I contacted the Gwynedd maritime department, but by the time they were alerted there was nothing that could be done and they could not be traced.
"I am concerned, because of staff shortages in the maritime department, jet skiers can launch their craft, go out for a few hours cause mayhem and then leave the area."
RSPCA inspector Phil Lewis said: "What is needed is some way to get the message quickly to harbourmasters.
"There are no propellers on the jet skis and dolphins can become disorientated by the high pitched sound."