Seals have been protected in Ireland for 30 years following the introduction of the 1976 Wildlife Act. Since then, on foot of public feedback and the experience of the ISS we have noted changes in seal behaviour and growing interaction between seals and humans. This has led to humans becoming more familiar with seals and frequent encounters, there are many examples of commercial fishermen and fishmongers, working in harbours feeding them to the entertainment of the public. As a general principle however the public should enjoy these creatures at a distance and not feed them, as they confuse their boundaries of behaviour. On another note, if seals have no fear from humans, the fact that they eat a wide variety of marine food, ranging from crustaceans like crab and lobster to shellfish and squid, salmon and other fish. Conflict between fishermen and seals occasionally happens, as they compete for some of the same catch. This has resulted in some illegal ‘culling’ of seal numbers. Also People operating Fast Power Craft or Jet Skis should be vigilant not to hit seals that are resident in a lot of our harbours and small sheltered bays. Please reduce your speed in these restricted areas and avoid colliding with them. This picture below was taken in Killybegs Co.Donegal Ireland. A well known seal in residence for years, sustained a blow to the head by a powerboat inside the harbor boundaries, leaving it blind in one eye..Please use common sense..Wait until out in open water before speeding.


~ by Treasa Giblin on September 20, 2011.

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