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Seal population not a threat: DFO

Harbour seals have been gathering at the Grand Codroy River.
Harbour seals have been gathering at the Grand Codroy River.

Residents of the Codroy Valley have been spotting a large number of seals in the Grand Codroy River, but there appears to be no need to worry.

Theresa Stockley is a resident who spots them on a regular basis. On Nov. 19 she counted as many as 40 stretched out on the sand bar.
Stockley wonders if the increasing numbers in seals will have an effect on the fish population.
DFO’s Garry Stenson identified the seal species as harbour seals.
Stenson said of the six species of seals, harbour seals are least common, with lower numbers in population than any other species.
He said harbour seals are widely distributed, and are normally called common seals.
Abundance in Atlantic Canada is unknown but thought to have been reduced due to a hunt and bounty program that ended in the early 1970s. There are an estimated 20,000-30,000 harbour seals in Atlantic Canada.
Stenson said when compared to the known 7.4 million harp seals, 1.2 million ringed seals and 500,000 grey seals, population numbers are relatively small.
Whether or not the seals will have an impact on fish populations is something Stenson would not speak on.
“The potential is there, but we really don’t know,” he said. “We will definitely be entertaining discussions with residents and experts in the future.”
chantelle.macisaac@gulfnews.ca

Theresa Stockley is a resident who spots them on a regular basis. On Nov. 19 she counted as many as 40 stretched out on the sand bar.
Stockley wonders if the increasing numbers in seals will have an effect on the fish population.
DFO’s Garry Stenson identified the seal species as harbour seals.
Stenson said of the six species of seals, harbour seals are least common, with lower numbers in population than any other species.
He said harbour seals are widely distributed, and are normally called common seals.
Abundance in Atlantic Canada is unknown but thought to have been reduced due to a hunt and bounty program that ended in the early 1970s. There are an estimated 20,000-30,000 harbour seals in Atlantic Canada.
Stenson said when compared to the known 7.4 million harp seals, 1.2 million ringed seals and 500,000 grey seals, population numbers are relatively small.
Whether or not the seals will have an impact on fish populations is something Stenson would not speak on.
“The potential is there, but we really don’t know,” he said. “We will definitely be entertaining discussions with residents and experts in the future.”
chantelle.macisaac@gulfnews.ca

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