Written by Sarah Pritchard
Two seals have been found dead in the Tasmanian islands.
Both of them have been confirmed as shot with a small calibre gun but it is as yet unknown whether the shootings were related. Police are running ballistics on the bullets to discover any links between them.
A few weeks ago a New Zealand fur seal was found dead at Cape Huay, within a few days another was found at Dunalley and two more injured animals that swam away before they could be treated.
It is against the law to kill these animals since they have been classified as endangered and can incur a fine of up to $13,000. The New Zealand Fur Seal is one of only two remaining species of seal left in the Tasmanian waters and are restricted to breeding among its islands.
Their numbers have been dwindling since the devastation of the sealing industry, which spanned the entire 19th century, only dissipating early in the 20th century.
Unfortunately nearly 100 years later, seals still end up caught and killed in nets and other fishing equipment as “accidental by catch” deaths. Fishermen are known to be aggressive towards seals, they blame them for the low numbers of blue fin tuna in southern waters.
The public and animal protection groups are outraged and urge anyone with information to come forward.
Sarah Pritchard is a new Canberra writer. She has recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Professional Writing and she now writes for a few online magazines including her own blog called Girl House Problems. Sarah is always interested in improving living conditions for animals.