Next week I am meeting up with Sue Sayer who in 2004 started Cornwall Seal Group and now studies seals around Cornwall full time.
Last year her book Seal Secrets: Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly was published by Alison Hodge in the excellent Pocket Cornwall series.
As it says on the back cover, “Cornwall’s most iconic marine mammal, the grey seal is also its most reliable and frequently spotted, despite being one of the rarest seal species in the world. Cornish grey seals are part of a genetically distinct sub-population that is globally significant. This book provides a glimpse of the hidden and secret world of grey seals around the coasts of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, from ‘cradle to grave’. It includes real stories about individual wild seals.’
Having attended a couple of the Group’s meetings last year I was shocked to see slides of the damage incurred by seals and cetaceans from the by-catch of the fishing industry.
Seals being curious creatures are also at risk from marine litter. Sue mentions in her book how they will explore plastic bags with potentially fatal results. If every beach visitor were to remove some of the rubbish that collects on the shore line, we could make a difference not only to marine life but also improve things for ourselves. Perhaps this would be a good 2013 resolution!
I look forward to telling you how Sue got started in her work, what’s happening now and how those who would like to can help.