The ocean water around Cape Town is believed to be poisoned with acid from a red tide algae bloom, which is causing seals to be violent.
There have been reports of a rapid accumulation of algae in our oceans known as “algae bloom”, which is poisonous to marine mammals.
The harmful waters could also be the cause of the sea creatures that have been found dead and washed up on the shores of local beaches recently.
Since the festive season, a number of seal attacks have been reported by beachgoers.
Two Oceans Aquarium’s wildlife management programme coordinator, Brett Glasby, told the Daily Marverick that this behaviour is a result of the acid seals are exposed to in the water as a result of the algae bloom.
“The seals consume fish and crustaceans that have algae bloom domoic poisoning… One of the symptoms is swelling of the brain. The animals that survive domoic acid poisoning suffer neurological damage and we suspect that is what has led to us seeing an increase in the number of attacks around Cape Town,” said Glasby.
People cannot get domoic acid poisoning from seals, but anyone who does get bitten by a seal should see a doctor right away to avoid getting an infection.