Countless dead Cape fur seals continue to wash up on the shores of the West Coast as environmental organisations such as Sea Search Research continue to ask the question: why?
Unfortunately, this question has been met with silence and frustration as there appears to be a delay in the results of the seal post-mortem which is issued by the state vet and will provide the necessary information, reports IOL.
The mass seal mortality event has been taking place since September, and while malnutrition has been listed as the primary cause for the death of these Cape Fur seals, Sea Search Research and Conservation operations manager and principal scientist Tess Gridley states that they do not have a “full understanding of why 2021 has seen an abnormally high mortality of fur seals.”
According to Gridley, malnutrition may be the cause for some, but others appear to be dying of natural causes. No particular reason can be given as a proper investigation needs to be conducted.
“We can’t help feeling let down and frustrated by the delay in results from the state vet, and although we facilitated the collection of samples to go for testing – submitted in October 21 with about eight animals tested, as per the department’s request – there has yet to be official communication of the results. Almost one month on and the animals are still suffering,” said Gridley.
Sea Search Research has been working with a number of organisations, including the SPCA and Two Oceans Aquarium. While the organisation attempts to do a thorough job when helping the population of these seals, no further funding has been given by the government to complete this important work, states Sea Search Research.