A young New Zealand fur seal, rescued from a piece of fishing net last week by Department of Conservation (DOC) staff, was found dead on Monday at Houghton Bay.
“Despite our initial confidence in the likely survival of the seal, the injuries inflicted by the fishing net must have been too great”, says DOC spokesperson Kirstie Knowles. “It’s upsetting to have found the seal dead in a location not far from where we freed it last week”, she said.
The seal, thought to be a yearling, was found last week with green fishing net around its neck. DOC staff removed the net and the seal seemed in good health.
“Discarded nets and other marine pollution can pose a serious threat to our wildlife” said Knowles. “It is essential to take extra care when fishing around fur seals and to dispose of any discarded fishing materials and other marine debris found around our coasts”.
If members of the public find a seal that is severely injured, or entangled in marine debris, or being harassed by people or dogs, call the DOC HOTline 0800 362 468.