Dolphin spotting on the Ceredigion coast


Focus for marine research along the coast of south-west Wales

Based in a heritage building in the heart of New Quay, overlooking the beautiful beach and harbour, the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre is the focus for marine research along the coast of south-west Wales.

The popular visitor centre works in conjunction with Dolphin Survey Boat Trips to collect data on the bottlenose dolphins of Cardigan Bay and other marine mammals such as harbour porpoise and Atlantic grey seals, as well as more unusual species such as basking sharks and sunfish.

Established in 1996 as a non-profit organisation dedicated to conserving Cardigan Bay’s marine wildlife, the centre provides educational activities and materials based on the local marine environment.

The coast of Ceredigion has two Special Areas of Conservation, with the Cardigan Bay SAC extending along almost 20km of coast and protecting wildlife in 1,000 square kilometres of the Irish Sea, while the northern coast of Ceredigion is protected under the Pen Llyn and Sarnau SAC and is also part of the Dyfi Biosphere area.

Atlantic grey seals love Ceredigion's secluded coves and sea caves, especially when the ‘cows' need peace to give birth and rear their young pups in the autumn. Seals can often be seen from the coast path, especially around Mwnt, Cwmtydu and Bird Rock near New Quay.

Look out for gannets, the UK’s largest seabirds. With a six-foot wing span, they make a spectacular sight as they dive for fish.

And there are several great places to spot dolphins, especially around headlands, such as between Cardigan Island and Mwnt; Aberporth; Ynys Lochtyn, near Llangrannog; Bird Rock, near New Quay; and Aberystwyth harbour. Dolphins even come within metres of the harbour wall at New Quay.

Visit the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre website