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2 August 2019, 16:08
Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust are part of a group calling for more to be done to stop people bothering seals.
The Seal Alliance is calling on DERFA to produce a national code of conduct to stop seals being disturbed around our coastline.
They want to raise awareness about how to enjoy and get the best views of our marine life without disturbing it.
A new report by the group has found that our seal population is suffering disturbance issues from human intrusion, both accidental and deliberate. These disturbances come from boats, jet-skis, kayaks, paddle -boarders, wildlife watching tours on land or sea, anglers, walkers, dogs on and off leashes, drones, light aircraft, helicopters and even commercial wildlife photographers. People trying to feed seals is also of growing concern.
They say changes to national legislation are needed to regulate the growing wildlife watching tourism industry and ensure it is conducted both responsibly and sustainably.
The Seal Alliance have written to Secretary of State for the Environment Michael Gove, asking for a meeting with Defra officials to discuss a national code of conduct to protect them.
Sue Sayer from the Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust says "we need to take care and must reduce already high levels of disturbance, and soon, or those environmental, social and economic benefits could soon disappear along with our seals".