Too many fish gone from sea

Bray People - - Nush The Seal Released Into The Sea -

NUSH THE SEAL at­tracted hun­dreds of lo­cals to the south beach in Grey­stones on Satur­day to see him off as he was re­leased back in to the wild.

Mem­bers of Grey­stones CoastCare also came along, their clean-up fall­ing on the same day. In a won­der­ful dis­play of to­geth­er­ness, passers-by came along to see Nush rolled up their sleeves and helped pick up some lit­ter.

Nush was found late on a moon­lit night just af­ter Christ­mas by Miguel Kelly and his girl­friend Anouska, af­ter whom the an­i­mal was named. He was very mal­nour­ished and gained about 35 lbs un­der the care of the Ir­ish Seal Sanc­tu­ary.

‘It was a fam­ily af­fair, the whole Kelly clan was there,’ said Bren­dan Price of the sanc­tu­ary. He de­scribed how ema­ci­ated Nush was when he was brought in. ‘He was oth­er­wise prob­lem-free but in an ad­vanced state of star­va­tion,’ said Bren­dan of the bull seal. He was three or four months old when res­cued.

‘It her­alds some se­ri­ous ques­tions about the state of fisheries in the Ir­ish sea,’ said Bren­dan. ‘Things like over­fish­ing, un­sus­tain­able fish­ing and pol­lu­tion are leav­ing the seals without enough food.’

He added that lo­cal fish­er­men are in the same po­si­tion. ‘If you’re not wor­ried about the seals then you should be wor­ried about the fish­er­men,’ he said.

He said that there has been a sharp in­crease in the num­ber of weaned an­i­mals suf­fer­ing from star­va­tion. ‘Only a blind man would fail to recog­nise the prob­lems,’ he said.

Bren­dan said that it is of­ten fish­er­men who spot and res­cue seals in trou­ble and that many of them have also do­nated fish to the sanc­tu­ary for feed for the mam­mals. ‘It’s a com­mu­nity that now needs our help.’

Bren­dan said that the crowd was very nice and sanc­tu­ary staff en­joyed the release im­mensely. ‘All the chil­dren en­joyed it too.’

A res­cued seal such as Nush would be kept first of all in a ken­nel where it would be force-fed and then weaned and place in big­ger pools with other seals where it would learn to com­pete in the wild.

Caoimhe Fitzsim­mons, Eimear and Adam Fawcett and Jonathon Fitzsim­mons with their new baby seals.

James Ac­ton emp­ties the con­tents of his welly.

SEAL THE DEAL: A huge crowd turns up to see Nush be­ing re­leased back into the sea.

The girls from the Ir­ish Seal Sanc­tu­ary heave Nush all the way down to the beach.

Char­lie and Alex Eames at the seal release.

Bren­dan Price from the Ir­ish Seal Sanc­tu­ary over­see­ing the release of Nush.

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