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Home / Sporting Events / Fishing / Shocking pictures show seal’s mouth entangled in fishing tackle

Shocking pictures show seal’s mouth entangled in fishing tackle

Volunteers are out in Shaldon this weekend searching for a seal which was spotted with fishing tackle entangled on its mouth.

The mammal, described as looking ‘underweight’ and ‘needing help’, was seen in Black Allers Cove in Labrador Bay on Thursday by boat trip operator Devon Sea Safari.

On its Facebook page it said: “Unfortunately we came across a seal entangled in fishing tackle during an afternoon trip on Thursday.

“It looks underweight and needs help. It may appear anywhere in Labrador Bay.”

No sighting have been reported since of the seal

No sighting have been reported since of the seal
(Image: Devon Sea Safari)

So far no more sightings have been reported.

Dan Jarvis, welfare development and field support office for British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), said: “A local volunteer team are out looking for the seal this weekend. I am not aware of any major sightings, but it could still be in the area.

“If it is, the next stage would then be to catch it. When it was first seen it was not in a very accessible area so getting up close to it and catching it would be the really hard part. On the other hand, we have had seals caught up on hooks on a number occasions and we know from those cases the hooks do tend to come out quite quickly.

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“They are either pulled out by the seal or rust out in the salt water and come off quite quickly within a couple of weeks.

“Although you don’t see it very often, sadly it is a relatively common occurrence at this time of year where seals are bought in close contact with people and anglers in harbours. The best thing is educating people it’s a very bad idea to feed them. They should be left to forage themselves as it creates these situations.”

It is hoped the seal will pull out the sea tackle or it will erode off

It is hoped the seal will pull out the sea tackle or it will erode off
(Image: Devon Sea Safari)

A spokesperson for Devon Sea Safari added: “Education is the key to helping with the problem. As well as clean up and special measures like at a Hopes nose, check out Torbay cleaner coast initiative and Tide of Torbay. They are really starting to get the message out there.


“There are now fishing line recycling bins that we never had before. We and Rock Solid Coasteering in Torquay both constantly remove plastic and explain to our clients how damaging marine litter is.”

Anyone who spots the seal is asked to report it to the BDMLR on 01825 765546.

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