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Isle of Man Coastal Code

The marine and coastal areas around the Isle of Man are used by many people for recreational activities. These areas are also highly valuable in terms of plants, animals, marine mammals and birds. The code has been established to help safeguard wildlife, while allowing locals and visitors to enjoy all coastal activities.

The code aims are:

  • To reduce unintentional disturbance to the marine and bird wildlife.
  • To encourage responsible use of the Manx coast and marine environment.
  • To keep everyone safe from harm.

Personal safety

  • Always inform someone of where you are going and what time you intend to return.
  • Always check tide times before venturing out along coastal walks as some areas of the coastline can be cut off by the tide.
  • Check bay signs for bye laws and other safety information
  • Be aware that some rocks and slopes may be slippery due to algae.

Respect for coastal wildlife

  • Try to leave everything as you found it or would expect to find it.
  • Tread carefully as you manoeuvre around the coastline in order to minimise impact on coastal plant and marine wildlife.
  • Be aware of nesting birds between March and October each year.
  • Be aware of basking sharks especially between May and September each year.

Coastline considerations

  • Respect the rights of all users.
  • Dispose of or take home any rubbish that you acquire.
  • Do not block public access or rights of way and use official car parks where possible.
  • Driving on the foreshore is only permitted to launch and recover a boat using a recognised access point. Organised events must seek prior permission.
  • Barbeques must be positioned below the high water mark to prevent unwanted fires.

Use of fast craft and jet ski’s

  • Be considerate to other coastal/marine users especially swimmers and divers.
  • Do not proceed into the safe bathing areas.
  • Wildlife: Keep activities such as launching and landings away from bird breeding grounds and roosts, and breeding and haulout sites of the local seals.
  • Observe the main safety guidelines around marine animals.
  • Understand and follow the RNLI’s Sea Safety Guidelines (for further information contact the Lifeboat Sea Safety Team, Gordon or Phil on +44 1624 475979 or +44 1624 416068)

Dog walking code

  • Follow local dog bye laws, failure to do so could result in a fine. Dogs are prohibited from some beaches around the island during working hours throughout the tourist season
  • Try to avoid disturbing birds and take care not to let your dog chase birds along the beach.
  • Clean up after your dog in order to help keep the beach clean for other coastal users.

Horse riding code

  • Follow local horse riding bye laws, failure to do so could result in a fine.
  • Always wear protective headwear and the appropriate riding gear for safety.
  • Always check your tack for security and safety before you set off.

Points to remember


  • Advice on where to launch jet skis can be obtained from the local Harbour Offices.
  • Safe Bathing Areas: Jet skis and other fast craft are not permitted within this area. This is for bathing only.
  • The public are reminded that swimming is not permitted in the Harbour area.
  • No Wake/Harbour Areas: Jet skis and other fast craft may use these areas for launching and must proceed at a safe and responsible speed.

Coastal Walks

  • Check the weather forecast and tide times before venturing out to sea or around the coastline. Remember some of the areas around the coastline can be cut off by the tide.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you are likely to be back. Remember to let them know if you change your plans.
  • Wear suitable clothing for the weather conditions and always carry a GPS or map and compass and know how to use them.
  • If you get into difficulties around the coastline or at sea and require assistance dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
  • For non emergencies contact the Marine Operations Centre (MOC) on 686627.


  • Keep 100m away from nesting birds
  • Keep 50m away from Seals, Do not approach Seal pups.
  • Keep 100m away from Basking Sharks
  • Keep 100m away from Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises.
  • Always look out for marine wildlife and seabirds around the Isle of Man. 



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