Stay Away from the Seals

It’s that time of year again when the seals are very much in evidence on our beautiful coast. Some swimmers I know actually got followed and nibbled the other day. Understandably they didn’t hang about.

As beautiful as encounters with wildlife are, most of us know that those encounters really need to be kept to a minimum and preferably at a distance. So it’s really hard to understand why the activities of some people have caused the death of young seal pups yet again this year.

Mother seals feed their pups for several weeks, with the young ones drinking about 2½ litres of their milk every day. They grow fast, reaching as much as nearly five stone in two weeks. Understandably, mums lose a lot of their body weight in this time.

The mother seal stays on the beach for about a month, and it is really important that neither she or the pups are not disturbed, or mum might abandon her them.

Guidelines from Wild Sea Wales say that if you see seals on a beach between August and December, they may well have pups and you should STAY AWAY.

If you find a white-coated pup on the beach, STAY AWAY. Mum  is usually in the water and if you handle the pup, your human scent might cause the mother to abandon it.

If you are in a quiet boat or kayak stay at least 100 metres  away. Powerboats should also stay 100 metres away and keep their speed below five knots on arrival and departure

If you see a seal swimming erratically or diving suddenly, you are too close. MOVE AWAY.

Of course they are wonderful to watch, but even if you have found a good spot on the cliffs above the beach, please be quiet.

Don’t disturb these beautiful creatures. Give the ups the best chance of surviving into adulthood by leaving them well alone.

+ My colleague Nigel Summerley spotted a family with two seal pups a couple of weeks ago but stayed well away, taking photos only from a very long distance. Read his account here.

 

 

Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for pembrokeshire.online, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says "Pembrokeshire.online has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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