Seals threaten cuttlefish, warn divers

IN DANGER: The region’s cuttlefish are in danger following sightings of fur seals in the area according to local divers.Whyalla divers have expressed their concerns about fur seals in the area feasting on the region’s cuttlefish.

Whyalla Dive Shop owner Tony Bramley said last weekend he saw more than 10 fur seals in the area and many “damaged” cuttlefish nearby.

Mr Bramley said this was the first time in a number of years he had spotted the fur seals.

He said it was concerning to see fur seals eating cuttlefish, given the huge numbers returning back to the area.

Mr Bramley said the seals should not be here.

“There are tens of thousands of cuttlefish here at the moment and it’s about half of what it should really be,” he said.

“People from all over the world including America, Canada, England and European countries travel here to dive with the cuttlefish.

“They are drawn specifically for the cuttlefish.”

Mr Bramley said there was a “gutter” at the front of OneSteel where good numbers of cuttlefish congregated.

He said the marine life there was “exceptionally vast” and needed to be protected.

“I haven’t seen this many fur seals around in at least three years and clearly they have taken a liking to the cuttlefish,” Mr Bramley said.

“I think it comes down to there being a lack of sharks or predators of the fur seals.

“While there is still a small percentage around, it seems the balance of the eco system has changed.

“It seems we have mucked up the system.”

Mr Bramley said while the numbers of cuttlefish returning this year were “significantly” better it was still down to years gone past.

He said the fur seals had “eaten themselves out of home and house”, meaning they were always moving around looking for a new food source.

Mr Bramley said cuttlefish were an integral part of the region’s ecosystem and steps needed to be taken to ensure their future.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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