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Displaying items by tag: seals

#MarineWildlife - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) funded the Coastal and Marine Research Centre (CMRC) and University College Cork, in conjunction with partners in UCC's School of Biology, Ecology and Environmental Science (BEES) and the Marine Institute to undertake a two-year pilot study to investigate seal predation on salmon stocks in the Moy and Slaney estuaries.

In the study, which began in August 2011 and continued to August 2013, salmonids were found in the diet of both grey and harbour seals using identification of salmonid bones recovered from the scat (faeces) of seals collected at seal haulout sites in the Moy and Slaney.

Salmonids were recovered in relatively low numbers, representing only 1.6% of the total prey numbers in the Slaney in Co Wexford and less than 5% in the Moy in Co Sligo. But due to the large size of individual salmonids, they comprised approximately 15% of the total prey biomass consumed.

The presence of salmonids in the diet of seals is likely to represent consumption of both salmon (Salmo salar) and sea trout (Salmo trutta), with contribution to the diet related to seasonal abundance.

Genetic techniques were employed to confirm salmonid species identification based on hard structures, with both salmon and sea trout DNA being detected in scats.

The removal of salmonids by seals, or other predators, must be placed into context of the amount removed by fisheries. In the Moy, 6,564 salmon were caught (non-­release) by rod fisheries (five-year average, P Gargan IFI pers comm) which is likely to be far higher than that removed by seals in the area.

However, smaller salmon population units are most vulnerable to predation, and even low levels of predation by 'specialist' seals (or other predators) could have disproportionately large effects on small salmon population units such as in the Slaney.

The full report is available to download as a 4.3MB PDF file HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - The baby seal rescued by three brothers on the Dingle Peninsula three months ago has been released back into the sea, according to the Irish Independent.

Back in October, Afloat.ie related the rescue of the stranded seal pup by the O'Sullivan brothers Marwin, Leon and Rory while they were on a family break in Kerry over the October bank holiday weekend.

Named Lena by seven-year-old Rory, the seal was taken into the care of the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary, who nursed her back to health after a serious bout of the flu among other ailments.

And now she's back swimming in the Altantic, while some 30 other seals - victims of the recent stormy weather - continue to receive TLC at the sanctuary.

The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - Arklow RNLI were involved in the rescue of two seals caught in fishing gear close to the lifeboat station.

Volunteer crew at the Wicklow-based station were made aware yesterday afternoon (21 November) that the seals were apparently trapped in the fishing nets.

Deteriorating weather conditions nixed the feasibility of launching the lifeboat Ger Tigchelaar to rescue the weary animals, so the decision was made to attempt a rescue from the rocky shoreline.

A local surfer who was in the area assisted three RNLI volunteers and members of the public with attaching a heaving line to the fishing gear, which was then hauled onto the treacherous rocks.

The seals were then carefully freed from the netting one at a time by the RNLI crew members Michael Fitzgerald, Liam O’Neill and Austin Gaffney, who said they were delighted that they were "successful in saving both the seals lives”.

Both seals had a short break on the lower rocks of the shoreline before making for open water.

RNLI volunteers kept the public back to ensure the seals had the best chance of surviving their ordeal.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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#MarineWildlife - A stranded baby seal rescued by three brothers on the Dingle Peninsula was one of five washed up around the Irish coast during the stormy bank holiday weekend, as the Irish Independent reports.

Fifteen-year-olds Marwin and Leon O'Sullivan from Co Cork quickly got in touch with the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary when they found the female grey seal pup, still with its fur coat, alone on Clogher Strand.

She's since been named Lena by seven-year-old Leon O'Sullivan and is in the care of the Dingle sanctuary, who said another pup was found on a beach in Mayo yesterday 29 October.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Tagged under
10th September 2013

Seven Seal Pups Released In Sligo

#MarineWildlife - The Irish Independent has a wonderful photo to accompany the video above of seven orphaned seal pups returned to the sea to rejoin their colony off Co Sligo after they were rescued and reared by the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary.

All seven seals had been abandoned during the summer - at least one because its mother was scared off by reckless personal watercraft users.

That seventh seal, named Toby, was rescued from the dunes near Strandhill by the Walton family, to whom he became very attached. And the occasion seemed to get a bit much for him as he initially refused to leave the care of his human companions.

The Irish Independent has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Tagged under

#MarineWildlife - Wildlife enthusiast Karl Grabe has posted on YouTube video of newborn seal pups rescued by the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary last week.

Named by staff at the sanctuary as Salt, Pepper, Sugar and Cocoa, the four are as cute as buttons - and anyone who visits over the summer can see them or others like them, such as two-week-old Molly who's also featured in the above clip.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - The Irish Seal Sanctuary has told Radio Kerry that it is no longer looking for the culprits behind the shocking sea beheadings in Dingle last summer.

As reported on Afloat.ie one year ago, staff at the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary were sickened by the gruesome sight of two baby seal heads nailed to signs outside the facility.

Johnny Woodlock of the Dingle Seal Sanctuary later claimed that the horrific discovery was part of a "swing in activity in recent months" where dead seals were found on beaches around the country with "apparent gunshot wounds".

However, the founder of the Irish Seal Sanctuary has said that the group is no longer actively seeking the perpetrators of the barbaric Dingle incident.

"It's not a high priority for me any longer," said Brendan Price of the Irish Seal Sanctuary, who added that rewards for information are "posted from time to time when incidents like this have occurred".

Price continued: "I wouldn't be looking for some kind of public atonement. I don't think it's helpful to keep rewards up any longer, and I'm sure that it will not happen again."

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - The Gorey Guardian reports that three seal carcasses were found washed up on Duncannon beach in Co Wexford this past Tuesday (22 January).

The National Parks and Wildlife Service is presently awaiting lab results to determine the seals' cause of death, a situation conservation ranger Tony Murray describes as "quite unusual".

He added that the carcasses of the three marine mammals were freshly dead and found to have no external injuries

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Irish Seal Sanctuary last month called for immediate action after a total of 12 seal carcasses were found dead on beaches in Wexford and Waterford in the span of a single week.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - The Irish Seal Sanctuary is calling for immediate action by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) after the discovery of four more seal carcasses in Tramore on Friday 21 December.

The four decapitated marine mammals reported by the Irish Examiner add to the eight found dead in Wexford and Waterford over recent days, bringing to 12 the total for the week.

Irish Seal Sanctuary spokesperson Johnny Woodlock told the Examiner: "It's an evolving situation down there. Only last night, I heard there were a few dead porpoises washed in. They are also a protected species.

Woodlock said yesterday (22 December) that he was still awaiting photographs in order to confirm the number of dead seals.

The disturbing turn of events echoes the reported "swing of activity" in seal fatalities around Ireland earlier in the year - the most horrific of these being the shocking scene of two baby seal heads nailed to a sign outside the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary in June.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - The Irish Seal Sanctuary has raised concerns after eight seals were found dead in Wexford and Waterford in recent days, as RTÉ News reports.

A shocking total of six carcasses were discovered near Fethard-on-Sea alone, while one apiece were found near Dunmore East and in Tramore - the latter reportedly decapitated.

The news comes just a few months after Johnny Woodlock of the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary warned of a "swing of activity" in seal fatalities around Ireland earlier this year.

The most horrific of these incidents was the grisly scene of two baby seal heads nailed to a sign outside the Dingle wildlife sanctuary, accompanied by graffiti daubed in red paint reading 'RIP Cull' - presumed to be a reference to local fishermen's urging for a reduction of seal numbers in the area.

More recently, reports from Castlerock in Co Derry suggested that a dead seal found on the beach suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

All seals in Ireland are protected under national and EU law.

The Irish Seal Sanctuary is currently urging the National Parks and Wildlife Service to launch an investigation into these latest incidents, and is appealing to the public for information on these or other seal deaths.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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