What does it take to save entangled seals? Step behind the scenes of our Cape fur seal disentanglement work in the V&A Waterfront with conservation filmmaker and photographer Steve Benjamin with the short film "Saving Seals" with the passion and creativity that goes into this work.
Saving Seals is a short film made by local wildlife photographer and conservation ambassador Steve Benjamin of Animal Ocean Seal Snorkeling. It focuses on the breakthrough work being done by the Two Oceans Aquarium, the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation, V&A Waterfront's Marine Wildlife Management Programme, the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, and international collaborators to develop a protocol to safely tranquilise distressed seals so that they can be helped. Saving Seals explores the history of the seal disentanglement programme at the V&A Waterfront, and the desperate need for this new technology, which is enabling those seals that cannot be helped through other means to finally be reached and disentangled.
We are faced daily with the wounds inflicted on Cape fur seals by loops of fishing line, box bands, and other plastic trash that they become entangled in. The only way to remove these nooses, and save their lives, is through human intervention - something that our team in Cape Town's V&A Waterfront knows well, routinely using stealth, cunning and inventive tools to get close enough to help these distressed animals. But, even with the best of intentions, we cannon reach every seal - this is where darting comes in, a new tool that will allow us to make an even greater difference and help seals that were previously out of reach.