PEMBROKESHIRE MARINE LIFE
With so much Pembrokeshire marine life on offer, you need to come kayaking to fully appreciate it. Pembrokeshire’s unspoiled coast, waterways and countryside are a wildlife watcher’s haven, attracting marine life from vast colonies of seabirds to seals.
The Pembrokeshire coast has a marine Special Area of Conservation (SAC) designation which recognises that the area is one of the best in Europe for its marine wildlife. The Pembrokeshire marine site is particularly diverse, with eight Habitats Directive Annex I habitat types and seven Annex II species; almost the longest list of any marine SAC in the UK. Our kayak guides, with years of experience, are well acquainted with the Pembrokeshire marine life and the local history of the Fishguard coast; knowledge which they are eager to share with you on one of our kayaking tours.
Below are just some of the delights that may be awaiting you on a kayak tour with us…
ATLANTIC GREY SEALS
Seals are spotted regularly on our kayak tours!
The Pembrokeshire coast has a 5,000 strong colony of these beautiful, inquisitive and friendly creatures. It is one of the world’s rarest seals and may grow up to seven feet in length. On average, a female may live until 35, ten years longer than male grey seals. Did you know? Atlantic grey seals have been known to dive to depths of 300m and stay underwater for up to 20 minutes… “Amazing!”
Can be viewed between mid and low tide in the spring.
- Scientific name: Maja squinado
- Also known as Common Spider Crab, Spiny Spider Crab
- Size: Up to 20cm across carapace
- Distribution: Found throughout European waters, especially the Mediterranean and parts of the Atlantic Ocean.
The European spider crab is a large species of crab found on the British and Irish coastline. This species of crab is commercially valuable around much of Europe and unlike other species takes part in annual migrations.
Spider crabs have a circular body which is usually light orange to brown in colour (although this may be red in the breeding season) and covered in bumps and has small spines running along the edge. Its legs are usually a darker orange and are very long and have two joints in them. The claws are relatively small and are at the end of very long arms that also have two joints in them. As one of the largest crab species in British waters, the European spider crab can have a carapace which is up to 20cm across and the claw to claw measurement of the outstretched arms of a fully grown male can be over 50cm.
Viewed on the Pembrokeshire coast regularly on our tours.
Plumply built, penguin-like bird! The Razorbill is well-named because the edges of its hooked upper beak are very sharp indeed, enabling it to grasp fish well and to defend itself against predators. A Razorbill takes off from the water rather clumsily, feet pattering along the surface, but then it flies strongly with rapid wing-beats. During the late summer, the birds moult all their flight feathers at the same time making them unable to fly for a while.
Poke around in the seaweeds next to your kayak and you’ll be surprised what you find!
These are beautiful marine animals with wavy tentacles and resemble underwater flowers. They are usually brightly coloured, adopting shades of white, green, blue, orange, red or mauve, often contributing to the spectacular walls of invertebrates populating reefs. Species such as the bulb-tentacled sea anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) and magnificent sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica) form homes for beautiful anemonefish or clownfish, which shelter from predators in the anemone’s stinging cells. Certain species of sea anemones are thought to be able to survive for 100 years or more.
Not strictly Pembrokeshire Marine life but a sea dweller nonetheless.
Sea kayak guides are a rare breed of human often found on the sea with salt dried to their skin. They eat fresh fish, crab and lobster but when times are hard will settle for anything. 🙂Can live to a hundred years or more thanks to the fresh air and enjoyable lifestyle. 🙂