We work with the Marine Wildlife Management Programme in an ongoing effort to disentangle Cape fur seals in the Cape Town harbour. Many seals become ensnared in nooses of discarded fishing lines, bait box bands, raffia cord and other plastic pollution. If left unattended, these nooses cut into the seals' flesh, causing wounds that lead to the death of the animal.

Help for the seals

Working with wildlife monitors in the V&A Waterfront, the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation uses seal platforms to create comfortable, accessible resting spots for wild seals, where our team can teach them with disentanglement devices to free them.

Before the dedicated seal platform was installed, Two Oceans Aquarium staff had to sneak up to seals in order to help them. Photo by Michelle Kirshenbaum

More about seals

Cape fur seals live in the cold water surrounding the southern tip of Africa. In order for the seals to stay warm in these waters, they have a thick layer of blubber under their skin and a double-layered coat. Seals feed on a number of shoaling fish species that occur around the South African coast. They are keen hunters and often hunt octopuses, crabs and crayfish.

Learn more about Cape fur seals

Unfortunately, the abilities that make Cape fur seals so well suited for life around humans, also bring them into marine hazards like litter and fishing gear. Credit : Helen Lockhart