‘Leave the seals alone’
Group wants Islanders to be on lookout for dead or distressed marine animals
Winter’s arrival means that the whales and dolphins inhabiting Maritime waters have departed for the sunny south.
However, over the past couple of summers, there have been a number of marine animal incidents in P.E.I., including a live mass stranding of long-finned pilot whales and a number of dead minke whales, Atlantic white-sided dolphins and harbour porpoises washing ashore.
The Marine Animal Response Society (MARS), which works in co-ordination with the Atlantic Veterinary College, the provincial fisheries department and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, wants to receive reports of distressed or dead marine animals. Reporting such events will ensure a timely response with the chance of saving animals in the case of live strandings. While reports of dead animals is an opportunity to collect valuable scientific information and monitor the impact human activities has on these species.
Winter also means that grey seal pupping season is about to start. As a result, Islanders may see more seals on P.E.I.’s shorelines and on sea ice. The pups need to spend a large portion of their day resting onshore and should not be disturbed or forced back into the water. However, pups that get separated from their mothers may be malnourished.
was awarded a grant from the P.E.I. Wildlife Conservation Fund. This project is aimed at increasing the response capability to marine animal incidents in P.E.I.
The Marine Animal Response Society is asking that Islanders not disturb any seal pups they may notice resting on Island shores this winter. The society also asks Islanders to report any distressed or dead marine animals they come upon by calling 1-866-567-6277.