Codes of Conduct for dolphin-watching vessels in the Shannon estuary
1. A maximum speed restriction of 7 knots applies to an area south of a line joining the cardinal buoys Beal - Tail of Beal to Kilconnelly Point, as this is an important habitat for dolphins.
2. When vessels first see dolphins they should maintain a steady course, reduce speed (<7kts) and monitor the dolphins heading. Attempts should be made to steer a parallel course to the dolphins. DO NOT PERSUE DOLPHINS, allow the dolphins to come to the vessel not you.
3. Maintain a minimum distance between vessels of 200m.
4. No more than 3 tour boats in the vicinity (<500m) of the same group of dolphins at any one time.
5. Vessels on the same group of dolphins should maintain a serial course to each other if at all possible.
DO NOT CORRAL BETWEEN VESSELS.
6. Successive boats should follow the same course and come astern.
7. Maximum time in the proximity of any one group of dolphins is 30 minutes per vessel, per trip.
8. New vessels into dolphin encounter zones should make VHF contact with existing vessels on Channel 8
9. There is to be no swimming with dolphins from commercial tour boats.
Saoirse na Sionna
Code of Conduct