South stack Lighthouse, Ynys Môn
© Wales Pictures

Wonderful Welsh Seas

Welsh waters and coastline are really amazing, and it’s not just Welsh people who are saying it! There’s plenty of it, too, because Wales has a staggering 2,740 km (1,702 miles) of coastline, including offshore islands, dramatic cliffs, secluded sandy beaches and rock pools to explore. All provide a spectacular backdrop for a range of leisure activities and watersports.

Welsh seas are widely recognised as being important, with 37% of the marine environment and 75% of the coastline protected under European legislation, and it is recognised as being of both national and European importance - although the extent of the protection is, to say the least, patchy. Protection for underwater sites falls well short of providing full protection that these amazing places and the wildlife that lives in them needs.

As well as being inadequately protected, these sites don’t necessarily contain all the Welsh marine wildlife that needs protecting. A Wales Environment Link report indentified that 4% of nationally important species are only found outside of the existing protected sites.

Welsh wildlife

Wales occupies a very unique position, it’s on the boundary of three oceanic and climatic zones (North‐east Atlantic, Arctic Boreal, Lusitanian) and has one of the largest tidal ranges in the world! Those factors combine to make the marine wildlife off Wales more diverse than many other places in Europe.

Wales also has heaps of different types of seabed habitat, too, which provide ideal conditions for a huge variety of species. The sea around the country provides the perfect homes for some of our favourite marine wildlife such as seals, dolphins, porpoises, sharks, jellyfish and many more.

Wales Silouhette
© Paul Bence

Your Assembly Your Wales

How you can influence
what’s happening in Wales


Welsh seascape
© Tim Hill

Where in Wales

Where to spot wildlife
and best places to visit


Skomer Island Puffins
© John Archer Thomson

Wonderful Welsh Seas

Take a look at what makes
underwater Wales is so special


Welsh Angler
© Frank Wittig

Welsh Sea threats

Issues facing Welsh seas



Did you know?…

Basking shark can be spotted feeding on plankton in Welsh waters

Wales has a staggering 2,740 km of coastline

Over 60% of the population of Wales either live or work on the coast.

Join us today

Help protect our seas, shores and wildlife

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