Illegal shooting of seals at Tramore Beach Waterford update
2nd March 2012
The seals that came ashore either dead or dying last week in Tramore had wounds that could be consistent with gunshot wounds but as no bullets were found during autopsy the official result is inconclusive. . A fourth seal came ashore on Saturday. The Common Dolphin, which was also washed ashore with damage to its head, died of natural causes. Another seal carcass was reported on the "backstrand" which came ashore two to three weeks ago and is now partly skeletonised.
We know how these animals smell as they decompose and for anyone walking on a blue Flag beach it would not be either expected or welcome.
All marine mammals are protected under Irish Law and we believe that it is very likely that these seals died as a result of an illegal shooting, despite the inconclusive result of the autopsy. Anyone seeing the injuries suffered by these animals thought immediately that they looked like they had been shot. The fact that two survived long enough to come ashore alive shows that whoever was responsible did not care either for the animals or for the public who might find the animals is such a pathetic state. Suffering massive head wounds until a vet could end their suffering, but I am sure the people who witnessed these animals will not easily forget what they witnessed.
The Irish seal Sanctuary would like to thank all those who alerted us and the relevant authorities to the plight of the seals who died near Tramore recently. We would like to remind any finding of a dead marine mammal (seal, dolphin or whale to immediately contact the local authority, the Gardai, The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG.ie), and the Irish Seal Sanctuary. Many of these animals carry infections, which can be passed on to humans so should not be touched.
For further information please contact (01) 835 4370 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Illegal shooting of seals at Tramore Beach Waterford
An up date on this story as of Thursday late afternoon another seal in a similar condition has come ashore today along with a dead dolphin, both displaying wounds similar to those of the first two seals. All marine mammals are protected under European Law and Irelands’ territorial waters are a declared Whale and Dolphin Sanctuary. The Irish Seal Sanctuary, The Irish Wildlife Trust, The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, and Waterford S.P.C.A. are monitoring the situation along with the statutory authorities. So the total at present is three seals and a dolphin.
Over the past number of days it has been brought to the attention
of the Irish Seal sanctuary that a number of seals have been illegally
shot off Tramore in Co. Waterford.
The Irish Seal Sanctuary was horrified to learn that adult grey seals
were coming ashore dying from bullet wounds to their heads. The first,
a mature bull seal had been shot with what appears to be a .22 bullet to
the head. Had this been an authorised shooting under license from
the N.P.W.S. it would have been shot with a weapon capable of
killing it outright.
The Irish Seal Sanctuary understands that some fishermen
are calling for a cull of seals but no-one can condone such a
cruel and illegal act, exposing the public to a dying seal on a
public beach is certainly not the way to achieve public support
for fishermen’s interests. The Irish Seal Sanctuary is actively
working with Fishermen’s organisations in an attempt to resolve
conflicts between fishermen and seals. The Irish Seal Sanctuary
has never opposed the properly authorised and licensed killing
of individual seals, carried out in the authorised manner.
Whoever is responsible for this illegal act in Tramore is acting
against the interests of all responsible fishermen and firearms
certificate holders and cannot be defended. We hope the
authorities who are investigating this get all as assistance
from the public to bring the offender to account.
Johnny Woodlock Irish Seal Sanctuary
For further comment please contact Johnny on 087 6490533 or Sarah on (01) 835 4370