Post by envagencyyorkshire on Mar 10, 2011 12:33:30 GMT
Q: What are the ea policy on seals in fresh water
A: Seals often swim up into rivers. This is a natural occurrence. We don’t have a ‘policy’ as far as I am aware (there is nothing that says ‘In the event of a seal swimming into freshwater we will…’). We recognise that seals eat fish, and can have a severe local effect but management options are very limited. Catching seals and moving them back to the sea is theoretically possible, but we don’t have the skills to do this ourselves (they’re big animals that swim quickly and they have big teeth) – also it’s not necessarily effective, because they have a tendency to swim back up the rivers again once they have been released. The presence of large predators in rivers is a sign of improved fish stocks. Seal numbers around the UK may also be increasing, so reports of seals in rivers might become more common.
It is illegal to kill, injure or take a seal in England, except to prevent it damaging fishing equipment – even then, a specified type of weapon must be used if the animal is to be shot. Fishing equipment refers more to commercial gear rather than an angler’s rod and line.