Thursday, August 24, 2006
Watch out for Marine Mammals!
Cailean keeps an interesting Scottish Seakayak-blog. He writes regularly about developments on the BCU coaching certificates and the star awards – the standards were the Dutch qualifications are originally based upon. It ‘s fascinating to see that similar discussions are taking place on both sides of the North-sea.
Also at the point of interaction with wildlife conservation organisations there are parallels. Yesterday Cailean referred in his post to the draft of the 'Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code'. This Code is a guidance for everyone on how to act around wildlife so that it stays wild, and stays in Scotland. It’s a delicate matter concerning the thin line between enjoying wildlife and disturbing wildlife. The perception of the individual tourist (or seakayaker) and the people on the wildlife protection-side on this matter may differ widely! I refer to the ongoing discussion in the Netherlands about the interpretation of the Code for aquatic sporters in the Wadden Region and the introduction of a Sea-reserve in the Voordelta. It’s good to develop user codes and guides of best practices on this theme. Awareness of the impact of ones behaviour is essential. And although a seakayak is a small and silence craft, it has the potention to disturb wildlife.
What struck me with the draft of the Scottisch Code was that there is a separate chapter dedicated to kayaking. Striking that a organisation of Natural Heritage pays attention to kayakers in the marine environment in their documents! In the contacts with similar Dutch organisations and authorities I often notice that they have hardly got any idea of the existence of seakayaking (or what it is about). Unknown makes unbeloved. Regulation and codes are primary focussed on sailing-boats and motor-vessels, with sometimes strange consequences for kayakers. There still is a lot of Mission-work to do!
Btw: the news around Simonszand inspired René to brainstorm on how to go on with camping in the Waddenzee; a marvellous area with sandplates, creeks and so on. Group camping is of the record nowadays, René explores the resting possibilities. It's a thin line between...
Geplaatst door Hans Heupink op 22:47