A multi-agency operation led by Kent Police has been carried out in the Pegwell Bay area in a bid to protect seals and other wildlife from being disturbed.
Last Sunday (August 6) officers from the Rural Task Force were monitoring the area following reports that vessels and jetbikes had disrupted the marine animals who inhabit the location by the mouth of the River Stour.
Using their drone to monitor from above, the officers worked together with Thanet District Council enforcement officers, Kent Wildlife Trust and the Harbour Master for Sandwich to ensure the animals’ habitats were left free from harm.
PCSOs from the Rural Task Force Team have been visiting sites in Sandwich and Thanet to try and educate users of jetbikes about the importance of responsible use.
As the area falls under a Public Space Protection Order, anyone found riding them in a way that poses a risk to wildlife can face a fine.
People can also receive a Community Protection Warning, and if they continue to offend, can result in the person being arrested.
Sergeant Darren Walshaw of Kent Police’s Rural Task Force said: “Kent has a stunning shoreline in which protected species of birds and marine mammals thrive. We want everyone to enjoy Kent’s coast whilst ensuring that the natural habitat of these animals is respected.
“The most important thing people can do is keep their distance, from all marine mammals and seabirds. These species are sensitive to disturbance so if you come into contact with them, move away quietly.
“Those using boats or jet skis are asked to travel at a no-wake speed of under 5mph when near the cliffs and if you see groups of birds or colony of seals, slow down and go around them.”