Too many fish gone from 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.