Seal takes break from rough seas at Shoal Bay

Shoal Bay’s resident seal takes it easy in the clam waters of the Bay. Photo: Marian Sampson.

A FUR SEAL has decided to take a break from rough seas and enjoy the calm waters of Shoal Bay.

To the delight of locals the seal has been seen cruising in the shallows and taking a quick sunbathe on the beach.

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It has also swam fairly close to swimmers, often unaware the seal was frollicking alongside them.

The seal has since been assessed by Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA) members.

“The team at ORRCA are those most able to assist marine mammals,” the team at the Port Stephens-based Sea Shelter told News Of The Area.

The public are reminded to please be respectful of the seal’s space as it needs to rest.

A seal ‘yawning’ at you can be a sign you are too close and should move away.

Seals can outrun a human over 40 metres, and it is a legal requirement that a minimum of 40 metres distance is maintained to seals on land.

Members of the public are reminded to never block a seal’s access to the water and to keep dogs and children well away.

If you see a seal in distress please call the ORRCA 24/7 Rescue Hotline on (02) 9415 3333.

The NSW Government is currently conducting a survey of seals that ‘haul-out’.

A haul-out occurs when seals temporarily leave the water to rest or reproduce.

The Department of Heritage and Environment is interested in understanding where Australian and New Zealand fur seals are hauling out along the NSW coastline, and they are calling for citizen scientists to help.

“As a citizen scientist, your participation in the survey to identify key hotspot locations for these fur seals is crucial,” the NSW government stated.

“Australian fur seals are listed as vulnerable under the Biodiversity Conservation Act.

“By getting involved, you directly contribute to safeguarding their habitats and populations.”

You can assist by reporting haul-outs at


Signage on Shoal Bay Beach is there to help people understand their responsibilities in relation to approaching the mammal. Photo: Marian Sampson.

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