Media Releases 2013

Posted on 19/07/2013 by

Three Australian fur seals trapped in netting at Seal Rocks have been rescued by staff from Phillip Island Nature Parks, Deakin University and the Cowes Fisheries office.

The rescue operation was launched on Tuesday following a report of multiple entanglements, including photographs from a member of the public who was on a weekend Wildlife Coast Cruise out to the colony.

The operation was coordinated by Dr Duncan Sutherland from Phillip Island Nature Parks and involved the team of four locating and capturing the seals before cutting the net entangled around their necks and releasing them back into the wild.

“The incident really highlights the impact of marine debris on wildlife and the importance of disposing of rubbish responsibly, particularly fishing net and line” said Dr Sutherland.

“Seals become easily entangled in objects like net, fishing line or string which can dramatically restrict their movements and cause terrible injuries as the debris cuts into their skin.”

Last month researchers from Phillip Island Nature Parks rescued a seal with a knife dangling on a cord around its neck.

“We have rescued on average 20 fur seals from entanglement each year.”

Last week’s trip would not have been possible without the assistance of Fisheries Victoria staff in Cowes who supplied and piloted the boat, and Andrew Hoskins from Deakin University who is researching seals as part of his PhD.

pdf1Entangled seals rescued from Seal Rocks

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