The Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (CBMWC) was established in 1996 as a non-profit organisation dedicated to conserving Cardigan Bay’s marine wildlife through education and research.
Based in a heritage building in the heart of New Quay, overlooking the beautiful beach and harbour, the centre has become the focus for marine research in the area. The centre is run primarily by volunteers who participate in all aspects of our work, with one part-time member of staff, funded in part by a grant from Environment Wales. We receive no core funding to keep the centre open and in the main we rely on donations from members of the public and profits from our small gift shop to keep us running.
We operate a popular visitor centre and work in conjunction with Dolphin Survey Boat Trips to collect data on the bottlenose dolphins of Cardigan Bay and other marine mammals that are regularly spotted, such as harbour porpoise and Atlantic grey seals and more unusual species such as basking sharks and sunfish.
Our visitor centre is free to enter and is open seven days a week between April and November. The facilities include interpretative and interactive displays showcasing the huge variety of marine wildlife found in Cardigan Bay, including an aquarium full of rock pool species. There’s also a gift shop area so that you can take home a souvenir of your time here.
The exhibits provide information on different themes such as the dolphins, seals and birds which can be spotted locally, the geology of the area and important issues surrounding pollution and sustainable fishing. There’s also information on how people can help protect the area and a sightings board which is updated daily with the latest local sightings, weather and tide information.
By booking your dolphin watching trip with Dolphin Survey Boat Trips you are supporting the research of the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre as each trip carries a volunteer researcher from CBMWC.
Join a 1, 2, 4 or 8 hour guided boat trip with New Quay’s experts. Enjoy the dolphins, porpoise, seals and birds that visit this beautiful part of the Welsh coastline. Please note that sightings are not guaranteed as these are wild animals.
Dolphin watching tips: The first rule is: Be patient! There is no specific time or state of the tide when sightings can be guaranteed. However, it’s best to spot dolphins on a calm day, keeping the sun behind you to avoid the glare from the sea. A disturbance of the water’s surface is often the first sign that you might see a dolphin but also look out for large flocks of excited seabirds gathering overhead; a sure sign there are plenty of fish about. Often you just catch something unusual out of the corner of your eye, so keep a pair of binoculars handy for closer observation.
Things to remember:
• Notebook – to keep a note of what you spot and where
• Camera – stills or video camera, a perfect record
• ID guide – to check what you’ve seen
• Food/drink – you may be out for a while
• Warm clothing and waterproofs
Proceeds from ticket sales support this locally-based vessel business and CBMWC research projects. Phone or check the website for current ticket prices.
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