Operation Seabird

© Jamie Johnson
Operation Seabird is a partnership initiative between North Yorkshire Police, Humberside Police, the RSPCA, the Marine Management Organisation and the YMNP, established to reduce the impacts of recreational activities on sensitive marine wildlife.

Originally developed around the Flamborough Head European Marine Site (EMS), it has now been picked up by other police forces and partnerships nationwide. The initiative aims to engage and educate the public about the sensitivities of the coastline, and how simple changes in their behaviour could reduce pressure on our unique wildlife.

Through Operation Seabird, we encourage everyone enjoying time at the coast to:

  • Keep your distance: Keep a safe distance (100m is a good guide) from the cliffs, rafting seabirds and marine mammals, allowing space for animals to move away from you.
  • No-wake speed: Motorised vessels and personal watercraft should travel at a no-wake speed within 300m of the cliffs or shore.
  • Avoid enclosed spaces: All motorised and non-motorised vessels should avoid entering caves and travelling through archways where breeding seabirds or resting seals are present.
  • Be aware: If an animal’s behaviour changes in response to your presence, move away quickly and quietly.



Reporting and Monitoring

We monitor and record wildlife disturbances on the Yorkshire coast, along with our colleagues in the Police (via 101).

The information we collect informs future management of our unique marine environment and can be used by the Police and other enforcement bodies to investigate serious disturbance incidents.

Recreational Activity Recording Form

Sharing Information and Expertise

Working together, we can share knowledge and skills across different organisations and sectors.  Making the work we do more efficient and effective. 

Sharing our knowledge about Yorkshire’s amazing wildlife with members of the public builds awareness and encourages responsible enjoyment of the coastline.  Ensuring that the seabirds, seals, whales, dolphins and porpoise continue to make their homes on the Yorkshire coast, for many years to come.

Initially established in 2020 around the Flamborough Head European Marine Site, Operation Seabird has now been picked up by police forces and partnership groups across the country.  The initiative has also won multiple national awards, recognising the importance of partnership working at the coast.

Search #OpSeabird on Twitter to see our latest activities.

View our other active projects and activities

The YMNP works with an ever-growing network of partners to identify key knowledge gaps, develop new projects, support existing activities, and enable innovative progress.

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Images kindly provided by Jamie Johnson, Martin Jones-Gill and Jo Symon