Seals on Beaches
Seals are often seen and do need to rest on land, so it is important to know how to behave to ensure these animals and yourself is not put at risk. Enjoy their presence from a safe distance.
Along our coastline we have seen Australian Fur Seal, New Zealand Fur Seal, sub-Antarctic Fur Seal, Australian Sealion, Leopard Seal and Elephant Seal. All these seals behave differently and have different requirements. November each year we start to see juveniles come ashore. These young seals are learning how to survive without their mum. Some are exhausted, malnourished, injured or compromised from parasitic infestation. Seals are part of the food chain with Orcas and sharks being the main predators.
All seals are protected wildlife managed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP). It is an offence to be closer than 30 metres, or have your dog within 50 metres, feed a seal, harass or interfere with a seal. For more information.
A seal is no different to people, it can get cold and tired in the water and therefore must come on land to rest. If it cannot get the rest it requires it can drown at sea.
Dogs are a major risk to seals as dogs can transfer disease to these animals and the seal can transfer disease to your dog.
Should a seal be resting on the beach, please walk the other way; there is plenty of beach for all.
Report your sighting to Barwon Coast or the Zoos Victoria AGL Marine Response Unit: 1300 AGL MRU (1300 245 678) if you are concerned.
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