Wildlife & conservation

Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve

The Harbour Authority developed and manages the Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve, which is located along the northern edge of the Bay. Created on a former salt marsh, the area is maintained to accommodate a wide range of habitats and attract a plethora of different species. Maintenance activities are undertaken in partnership with Cardiff Council’s Park Ranger service.

For general visitor information, please see our Attractions section

For details about educational activities related to the Wetlands Reserve, visit the Education section

Migratory fish

The Harbour Authority has been working with Natural Resources Wales and its predecessors to monitor the impact of the Barrage construction and operation on the passage of migratory fish (salmon and sea trout).

Large numbers of young salmon are released into the river Taff each year, where they feed and grow until they’re large enough to migrate out to sea. Adult fish return to the rivers to breed, and fish trapping at Blackweir and Radyr Weir has helped to estimate the number of fish successfully returning through the Barrage fish pass.

In addition to fish stocking and monitoring, project funding is also dedicated to fish pass and habitat improvements along the rivers Taff and Ely, to ease the passage of fish and provide suitable breeding areas.

Invasive species

Cardiff Bay is home to a number of invasive species. Invasive plants such as Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and Giant hogweed grow along the riverbanks. The Harbour Authority has a treatment programme in place to reduce the spread of, and where possible eliminate, these plants.

Zebra mussels and invasive shrimps are present in the water. These can out-compete other aquatic creatures and reduce biodiversity. Zebra mussels can also cause damage to underwater structures and vessels. It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act to cause the spread of invasive species.

Information is available to Bay users about reducing the risk of spreading these creatures to other water bodies on nonnativespecies.org

The Harbour Authority is a research partner of the Aquainvad-ED training network, which aims to develop innovative methods for the early detection, control and management of aquatic invasive species.

Wildlife & conservation