Australian fur seals can be found sunning themselves around Port Phillip; especially popular are places like Chinamans Hat, Popes Eyes and other structures and buoys. Occasionally they will come ashore to rest; remember – they are wild animals, do not approach seals on land, on a structure or in the water (unless on a professional swim tour).
During the 1800’s Australian fur seals were largely over-harvested for their fur. They have two layers of fur; the outer layer has dark guard hairs and the undercoat is so thick, dense and soft that their skin stays dry even when swimming. The annual moult can leave them looking quite bedraggled.
The Australian fur seals have flippers that they can use to haul themselves out of the water and move around on land. Their hind legs face backwards – so they can swivel rapidly when on land or in the water.
It has taken a long time for populations numbers to recover. Unfortunately, seals are still being found entangled in fishing line, trawl net and debris that has made its way out of drains and into the ocean.
Remember – please respect these marvellous creatures, now and in the future. Help protect them and their environment, join us at Dolphin Research Institute. Find out more here.
The Dolphin Research Institute is a registered charity. Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible. Please consider making a donation or becoming an Adopt-A-Dolphin supporter.