Sustainability and Citizen Science

We are committed to responsible tourism where we respect nature and encourage clients to do the same.  We are nature lovers that through observations and studies wish to preserve the environment, keeping our connection with our marine wildlife alive and we will lead by example.  

Our skippers are WISE accredited, members of the Pembrokeshire Marine Code and director and skipper Ffion is also a qualified Marine Mammal Observer.  We are passionate about the wildlife we are lucky enough to have on the doorstep and love to inspire our passengers, with that comes a responsibility to do it ethically and responsibly. The welfare of the wildlife always comes first.

Ffion has worked as a skipper and naturalist for over 25 years, running guided wildlife boat trips around the Welsh coast, eventually setting up her own boat company, Falcon Boats 5 years ago. She spends winters working on expedition ships as am expedition guide, zodiac driver and lecturer all over the world and completed her first Antarctic season last year. This breadth of experience puts Ffion in a unique position to provide insight into the precious ecosystems around our coast in a sustainable way and she personally trains all of our guides and skippers (experienced in their own right) to an extremely high standard.

Falcon Boats is a member of the Pembrokeshire Marine Code and Ffion was instrumental in the creation and implementation of this code almost 20 years ago. Video of Ffi’s presentation for the PEmbs Coastal Forum on our marine wildlife and how to interact with it responsibly

We are also partners with Seawatch Foundation – a charity who are working to conserve & protect cetaceans and their habitats to ensure their continued health and survival.  We not only collect sightings data for them but our vessel is licensed to carry out cetacean photo ID, you can join us on these exclusive scientific based trips where we head out offshore with a Seawatch scientist to monitor and photograph whales, dolphins and porpoises.   

Scientific research – in 2018 we committed to a Common dolphin ID project with Bangor university and Sea Watch Foundation.  We were joined for 2 months by MSC student and marine biologist, Bea Tintore, facilitating her study on the short beaked common dolphins of the Celtic Deep.  Over the 2 months with us Bea identified and created a catalogue of 51 individuals and we are continuing to do photo ID and record sightings data for Sea Watch.

Secchi disk – global plankton watch citizen science project.  We are excited to expand our 

Citizen science projects to include this global project measuring plankton on a global level.  As a keystone species in our oceans increased data can help measure the health of our oceans and increase effective conservation methods.  Learn more about this project whilst out with us.

We can also give you advice on helping with these and other citizen science projects in your area so you can get involved and help contribute to this amazing group.

Hydrophone – we are very excited to have invested in a purpose built hydrophone built by Marine Conservation Research  which will enable us to add another dimension to our cetacean watching experience by introducing the world of sound in which they live.  All cetaceans use echolocation to find their prey and build a picture of their world and they also communicate with each other using sound.  Lots of the larger cetaceans such as minke whale can spend long periods under water and we may never know they are there but if they are vocalising the hydrophone will be able to pick them up. 

We will also be able to record what we pick up with the hydrophone which will increase the data that we can record for scientific purposes.  

Tackling plastic pollution – in addition to our personal commitment to reducing plastic waste, when out on the water we will always pick up any floating plastic we find at sea and rescue animals that may have got caught in this.  We have organised a number of beach cleans during lock down with a just a few members of our team and will continue to do this.   Once back on the water we will also be able to use our purpose built boat to access some of the more inaccessible coves to do beach cleans.  

Volunteer work – RSPB & BDLMR

Over the years we have been involved with helping the RSPB on their annual rescue mission to Grassholm island to free up any gannets entangled in plastic in their nests at the end of the breeding season and work closely with them in our day to day tours around the islands helping with monitoring both wildlife and visitor data, promoting best practise and educating water uses when possible.  

We are part of a team of local operators and businesses who work with the RSPB in the Autumn to rescue and release stranded shearwaters and Ffion is also a Trained Marine Mammal Medic volunteering with BDLMR (British Divers Marine Life Rescue) in local marine mammal strandings and has been involved in many seal pup rescues and dolphin strandings.  She is also experienced in bird rescue and rehabilitation and has been involved in rescuing, rehabilitation and releasing many seabirds and land birds over the years and the latest rescues can often be found being cared for at Falcon Base.

Car Y Mor – For the Love of the Sea

We are proud to support the new community interest company Car Y Mor’s regenerative 3D farming project and  contribute our time and knowledge to the seaweed and shellfish growing projects in Ramsey Sound and Porth Llysgi whenever we can.  This exciting new project provides food and fertiliser whilst at the same time creating marine ecosystems rather than destroying them and helping to sequester carbon.  It is a not for profit organisation which is also creating employment in the area.

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