No marine mammal species in UK is exploited directly. However, changes in the status and distribution of marine mammals could potentially have commercial effects if species (e.g. minke whale, bottlenose dolphin) targeted by the ecotourism industry become scarce, or there are changes in competitive relations (e.g. an increase in seal predation upon commercially important fish).
If climate change affects human behaviour, for example by increased pressure on already depleted fish stocks or shifts to squid fisheries, those in turn could affect marine mammal species through their food supply. If there is increased usage of the coastal zone for particular human activities (e.g. recreation), these could impose pressures through disturbance and pollution. A greater emphasis upon offshore renewable energy sources such as wind and tide may result in greater conflicts with marine mammal species like the harbour porpoise, bottlenose dolphin, minke whale, and harbour seal, that often forage in coastal areas and within high energy sites around headlands and island archipelagos. Negative effects include sound disturbance particularly during pile driving construction activities in the case of wind farms or physical damage in the case of tidal turbines (Carstensen et al., 2006; Evans, 2008). On the hand, once wind farms are under production, it is possible they could have positive effects if they form safe havens for fish (Evans et al., 2008).