Nature at rest

A tired baby seal on the beach. 159964 Pitcure: Barwon Coast

SEALS are once again becoming a regular sight along Ocean Grove’s coastline.
While seals spend most of their time at sea or on offshore islands, at this time of year they are often seen on rocky areas and beaches along many parts of our coast.
Summer is the peak time for adults and juveniles to come ashore for much needed rest and respite after a busy breeding season.
“While residents and beachgoers may be lucky enough to catch sight of resting seals on local beaches, we are reminding the community that seals are protected wildlife and need to be given space,” said Doug Stevens, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) acting senior biodiversity officer.
“People should keep their distance, keep dogs away and not approach, touch or feed seals because this may contribute to aggressive behaviour towards people over time.”
The following conditions and minimum approach distances apply:
* Do not approach within 30 metres of a seal on land, whether you are also on land or in the water.
* Dogs are not permitted within 50 metres of a seal on land or in the water.
* At boat ramps or other man-made structures such as piers, you must stay at least five metres away from seals.
* Never attempt to feed seals. Seals can quickly become dependent on humans, and in some situations can become a nuisance or even dangerous.
If you see injured or distressed marine wildlife please call the AGL Marine Response Unit on 1300 AGL MRU (1300 245 678) or DELWP on 136 186.