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A.J.Haywood

Saving Our Seals - 28 sea mammals rescued after becoming trapped in plastic junk

By Olga Gertcyk
14 August 2020

Distressing pictures from Tyuleniy Island highlight the human blight of floating ocean garbage which kills pinnipeds.

Helping to free the stricken seals on Tyuleniy Island was no easy task as the seals have very sharp teeth and fast reactions. Pictures: Boomerang Club

This was a first expedition by volunteers and activists to rescue seals trapped in plastic rubbish on the island, a breeding ground in the Sea of Okhotsk, off Sakhalin.

Each year, these shores are a magnet for seals and sea lions. 

Young animals especially love playing with the junk - but often get trapped in synthetic fishing nets and plastic rings.

These easily turn into deadly collars that 'grow' deep into bodies of the mammals, leading to slow, agonising death. 

Whales and dolphins suffer on an horrific scale from netting and plastic waste - some 300,000 die each year, according to the International Whaling Commission.

Saving our Seals - 28 sea mammals rescued after becoming trapped in plastic junk


Saving our Seals - 28 sea mammals rescued after becoming trapped in plastic junk


Saving our Seals - 28 sea mammals rescued after becoming trapped in plastic junk


Saving our Seals - 28 sea mammals rescued after becoming trapped in plastic junk


Saving our Seals - 28 sea mammals rescued after becoming trapped in plastic junk


Saving our Seals - 28 sea mammals rescued after becoming trapped in plastic junk


Saving our Seals - 28 sea mammals rescued after becoming trapped in plastic junk
A dozen volunteers crawled along the beach to catch the seals tied up or otherwise tangled in the garbage. Pictures: Boomerang Club


Helping to free the stricken seals on Tyuleniy Island was no easy task as the seals have very sharp teeth and fast reactions. 

The legal framework around using sedatives is not yet resolved and it is impossible to save large animals, such as mature seals and sea lions, and to work on rocky shores without immobilising them. This is why Tyuleniy Island with flat sand and gravel beaches - and many young animals - was chosen for this initial rescue mission.

A dozen volunteers crawled along the beach to catch the seals tied up or otherwise tangled in the garbage.

The pictures show how the team carefully went about their work. 

Volunteers also removed dangerous hooks, ropes, boards with nails and sharp pieces of metal from the shoreline. 

In the end 28 seals were saved from recklessly thrown rubbish.

The expedition was organised by Boomerang Club, an environmental NGO, and Friends of the Ocean along with Kamchatka Branch of the Pacific Ocean Institute of Geography, with support from the President's Grants Fund and a fishing company from Lermontovka. 

Activists and scientists plan to continue joint efforts to rescue sea animals from plastic rubbish in the Sea of Okhotsk. 

Saving Our Seals - 28 sea mammals rescued after becoming trapped in plastic junk. Pictures: Boomerang Club

Saving our Seals - 28 sea mammals rescued after becoming trapped in plastic junk


Saving our Seals - 28 sea mammals rescued after becoming trapped in plastic junk
Saving our Seals - 28 sea mammals rescued after becoming trapped in plastic junk
Saving our Seals - 28 sea mammals rescued after becoming trapped in plastic junk

Comments (5)

Молодцы
Anastasia, Deutschland
23/08/2020 13:58
0
0
Plastic should be banned and human garbage should be wrapped up in their own junk to get a taste of how it feels to be strangled to death...

Once again huge wet hugs and sloppy seal kisses from all the poor rescued seals to the Boomerang Club, the volunteers and all those animal lovers in Siberia...including the great team of Siberian Times reporters!
Anonymous, Switzerland
19/08/2020 00:54
7
0
It's really great what the Siberian people do to save their animals and environment. They are a example to the world and hopefully other people get inspired, instead of paying big money to hunt animals.
Bert Douwe, Tiel Holland
16/08/2020 20:44
11
0
Good for the Boomerang Club. :)
David B. Benson , Pullman wa USA
15/08/2020 23:04
6
0
Good job, kind hearted!
姚剑申, 巨鹿/中国
15/08/2020 21:02
13
0
1

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