Skinned seal find shock for DOC staff

Last updated 06:35 09/07/2014

Relevant offers

Hawke's Bay

Police officers on trial are 'people, not robots' says defence Unexplained fire causes extensive damage to Hastings house Genera's Napier Port branch awarded for equal opportunities Perms bridge a generation gap at Bay student salon Man arrested after attack on woman outside Flaxmere Primary School Ho-ho-Hastings, very Merry Christmas celebrations Hawke's Bay police ask people to lock up properly to avoid burglaries Second top police officer criticises actions of police making arrest Teenager charged with Hastings arsons Police should not have deployed two dogs on wanted man in car says top cop

Finding a shot and "professionally skinned" seal washed up on a Hawke's Bay beach has shocked Department of Conservation staff.

They have called for anyone who knew who was responsible to report them.

The New Zealand seal (kekeno) remains had been in the water for sometime before washing ashore near the Port of Napier and being found at the weekend, conservation services manager Dave Carlton said.

It was unclear where the seal was killed, but seals were often seen "resting on our beaches" or swimming nearby.

"What was obvious was the seal had been killed and this is a clear offence under the Marine Mammal Protection Act 1978, and a successful prosecution could result in up to a year in prison or a maximum fine of $100,000."

He said the seal may have been killed by someone who believed seals ate too much fish in the area, depriving fishermen, or have been slaughtered by someone indulging in target practice.

"This sort of behaviour is incomprehensible. Contrary to some thinking, seals do not impact significantly on the local fish population. They feed mainly on squid and small mid-water fish, mostly off the continental shelf.

"Alternatively, using the animal as target practice then skinning it was equally insidious."

The seal had been "professionally skinned", he said, either on the shore or out at sea and then dumped overboard.

"Before the arrival of humans, a population of about 2 million kekeno inhabited New Zealand.

"We would like to hear from anybody with information . . . someone may notice a fur seal skin hanging in someone's garage, for instance," Carlton said.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

How many coffees do you have a day?

5 or even more

3-4

2

1

Anything from 1-5.

Don't touch the stuff.

Vote Result

Related story: Coffee as we know it at risk of dying

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content