Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Seen a seal? With the warmer weather upon us, seals are active in Port Phillip Bay over summer and may occasionally be seen on Bayside beaches.
If you spy a seal on land, leave it alone and ensure dogs are on a leash.
These marine visitors are usually resting juveniles just taking a break, and will move on in their own time.
Seals are protected native animals and penalties apply for harassing wildlife.
Respect seals - all seals should be treated with respect. They can be aggressive when threatened, have sharp teeth and can move quickly over short distances. So give them space and observe seals from a distance.
Don’t approach - by law you must keep at least 30m away from seals on land. Approaching a seal will scare the animal into the water, which may be a problem if it is injured or sick. Large seals can also trample young when fleeing.
Dogs and seals don’t mix! Dogs disturb seals from resting. If seals feel threatened they may attack your dog. Some diseases can also be transferred from dogs to seals or vice versa. When walking your dog, keep it on a leash and 50 metres away from seals.
Feeding seals is not good for them - seals are wild animals and know how to fend for themselves. Feeding seals can encourage dependency on humans. They can also become aggressive around people when they are used to being fed. Seals can become malnourished or sick if given the wrong foods.
Prevent injuries to seals - if a seal approaches your boat, slow down. If fishing, remove your line from the water until the seal moves on. Baited fishing lines and hooks can cause injuries to seals.
Seals are protected by law - people who harm seals can be fined under the Wildlife Act 1975. Call the DELWP Customer Service Centre on 136 186 if you see anyone harassing a seal.
*Supplied by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
If you are concerned regarding the welfare of a seal, call the Zoos Victoria Marine Response Unit on 1300 245 678