Essay, Pages 2 (446 words)
One could argue that Snorkelling with the seals do have an impactful benefit to concerns such as education and increasing the well-being of humans, but there is a weakness to this as it does not compensate for the environmental impacts placed. During the early 21st century a number of seals were commercially harvested and now Montague Island contains the only remaining Australian fur seals along the New South Wale coast and the northern most colony of this marine mammal in eastern Australia.
Narooma Charters offers an experience to visit Montague Island and snorkel with the seals. The Narooma Charters go out about 3 times a day depending on the weather. This could potentially mean that the trained snorkellers who do these trips every day could have an attachment to individual seals or vice versa. Going back and forth between the island and Narooma it is 9 kilometres one way but roughly 54 kilometres in a day. This leads to many environmental issues such as fuel being dispersed into the air and ocean every day where other various marine animals and seabirds pass by or nest.
During the breeding season, Australian seals have higher levels of hormones in their system and are therefore more irritable. Many seals attack to protect themselves or their young, even though there is no threat from humans. Not only do seals become more aggressive, but they start to lose animal instinct. As more humans start to snorkel and dive, the seals start getting closer and start interacting leading themselves into potential danger.
In hindsight, though these are wild and unpredictable animals with several reasons as to why they act like this. In one case a person named John Moore was filleting fish at a boat Ramp in Narooma and got bitten from behind on his calf. This was not the first incident that had happened but one of many in the past. He stated that it was because “people had been hand-feeding the animal, which may have encouraged its aggressive behaviour.” (John Moore, 2018) Up until now, people were throwing fish carcasses into the water, but some people decided it would be amusing to hand feed it and that’s what made the seal do what it did. In another article more concerns were raised by the public about seals feeding on fish skeletons and scraps thrown into the water at the Apex Park boat ramp, the Narooma News has decided to ask the question as to whether special bins should be put in place at the fish cleaning table. The bins would have to be emptied regularly and the contents could go toward the council’s existing composting program at the Brou landfill facility.