DFO Reminds Public it is Illegal to Disturb Marine Mammals

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans recently received a video of a young harp seal resting on a harbour slipway.

It wants the public to know that lying about and resting is perfectly normal behaviour for seals and not uncommon to see this time of year. Sometimes people mistake this behaviour to mean that the animal is in distress or dying.

It is important to remember that in any circumstance it is illegal to disturb a marine animal. Unless you are participating in a legal fishery or conducting authorized science research, wild marine animals should be left alone to feed, breed, live and die in their environment.

While people may think they need to get involved, experts warn against it because it increases stress on the animals and may also cause injury to those involved.

If you observe a seal or other marine animal that appears injured or is being disturbed by someone, please contact Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

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