Fisheries officers to deal with seals invading northern Newfoundland town


The seal romance on the Northern Peninsula continues, with an estimated 40 seals unconsumed in and around Roddickton and Department of Fisheries and Oceans officers in town irksome decide on the best plan of action.

“They’ve been residents here now for one obsessed week and it looks like they’re not going anywhere real high-speed,” Sheila Fitzgerald, mayor of Roddickton-Bide Arm, told CBC’s Newfoundland Morning helter-skelter the harp seals that are not only hanging out in two open brooks in city but wiggling their way up into yards and onto roads.

“We’ve seen them in people’s backyards, human being’s driveways, along the sides of the roads, in the doorways and entryways to local businesses, parking collections,” Fitzgerald said.

But along with the eventual plan for the seals, the amount to number of animals in and around Roddickton is still unclear, said Lloyd Slaney, DFO’s cicerone of conservation and protection in N.L. 

Late reports from people in the area indicate that the number of seals may be shame than believed, Slaney said, closer to 20 or even fewer.

Fisheries peace officers were expected to return to the area Thursday, he said, but were gapped because of poor weather across Newfoundland.

“We’ll be back in the community when the ill improves,” he said.

Stuck seals kept in town by ice

What is curious about the situation is not that the seals are staying in the area, Slaney claimed, but that they are stuck due to ice that goes quite a distance out into the tons.

“The fact that these are stuck behind such a body of ice is a bit unequalled, I would suggest,” he said of the seals.

Harp seals migrate south in brings at this time of year, Garry Stenson, head of the DFO’s marine mammals fraction, told The St. John’s Morning Show.

They’ve been residents here now for one full week and it looks be they’re not going anywhere real fast.– Sheila Fitzgerald

A rank of 40 of the animals travelling together is not unusual, Stenson said — he’s perceived groups with as few as six seals and as many as a thousand. It is relatively unusual to discover to be a group of that size on shore, he said, but not unheard of.

Fisheries officers to deal with seals invading northern Newfoundland town

Seals maintain been turning up on the roads, and other places they don’t belong, in Roddickton. (Brendon FitzPatrick/Excitement)

“There’s not a lot of ice off the northeast coast this year, so they’ve probably rushed up the inlet looking to see what was there for food,” he said.

The seals able found some small fish in the brook, and then when they chose to leave found themselves stuck by ice that had frozen up after their migrant.

‘Nobody wants to see these little seals hit’

Now that the seals are there, the metropolis and the DFO have to decide what to do about them, and whether or not they should be — or can be — moved.

Fisheries apparatchiks have been in town and are assessing the situation and investigating their choices for the stranded seals, Stenson said.

Fisheries officers to deal with seals invading northern Newfoundland town

It’s not unusual for a single stranded seal to be manoeuvred, DFO’s Garry Stenson says. This one on the Burin Peninsula was brought behindhand to open water this week. (Provided by Marystown RCMP)

“They’re looking hither now to try and determine exactly how many seals are there, both in that court as well as in surrounding areas, and whereabouts they are,” he said.

That prosper will continue once the weather improves and officers can get back on the range, Slaney said.

Having the officers in town is a relief, Fitzgerald voted, because they can respond much more quickly when a seal stops up by a home or business, or if one gets on a roadway. Previously, she said, an officer had to on in from the office in St. Anthony, 140 kilometres away.

Seals on the community’s roads are a particular concern, she said, after two were found motionless yesterday. Stenson said both seals were struck by autos, something Fitzgerald said happened after several days of understanding about near misses from Roddickton residents.

The small Newfoundland hamlet has been swarmed with the animals, but even though two of the mammals own died, DFO says it’s normal. 1:06

The town’s roads are sanded now, to deal with ice and snow at this sometime of year, and the seals’ light pelts blend in, she said — especially at sunset and dawn.

“It’s difficult for motorists, and nobody wants to see these little seals hit in our community.”

Stenson is put in mind ofing people to keep their distance. 

“We understand it is very tempting to interact with these physicals, but a seal is a wild animal,” he said.

“It’s kind of neat that Newfoundland is one of the few assigns where we’re actually able to see these animals.”

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