Codes of Conduct

In 1984, a wide range of users of the sea worked together to declare the coastal waters off St Abbs and Eyemouth a Voluntary Marine Reserve creating the very first marine protected area in Scotland.

Whether it’s watching the nesting seabirds on the cliffs at St Abbs Head or diving to the ocean floor so spot the infamous Wolffish, there are things you can do to help protect the Reserve.

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SCUBA divers swimming past a wall of Dead Men's Fingers

© Lawson Wood Ocean Eye Films

  • Leave animals and plants where you find them and take care not to damage them

  • Do not tamper with lobster pots – it is illegal and dangerous

  • Divers – control your buoyancy and do not use spearguns and hooks

  • Take your litter home with you and do not pollute the sea

  • Avoid losing fishing tackle by using gear suitable for the ground and an appropriate rig design

  • Keep your distance from seabirds, seals and dolphins to avoid disturbing them

  • Look out for your safety at all times, check the tides and keep back from the cliff edge

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The original Codes of Conduct have recently undergone a consultation to review and update them, and we have now created separate codes for some of the main user groups of the area.

These will be reviewed by our steering group on annual basis, with the potential for more user groups to be added as activity in the Reserve increases.

Please download our new codes below: