Seal Island remains off limits

A sea lion playfully frolics in the water near Seal Island.
A sea lion playfully frolics in the water near Seal Island.

The resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said on February 23 a verbal altercation took place between members of his boat and those on another vessel that had landed on the island.

An adult from the other vessel allegedly walked onto the beach and started to clap and yell at a group of sea lions, an act that contravenes strict regulations that forbid anyone from landing or setting foot on the island.

‘I don’t want to see it all ruined because some grown ups can’t act like grown ups in front of their children,’ the concerned resident told the Courier.

‘We love to watch (sea lions) and they are amazing creatures, very trusting of humans and playful when in the mood. However, I’m sure they have memories and recognise people and will be scared of coming back to the island after this.’

A spokeswoman for Department of Parks and Wildlife confirmed to the Courier that it had received a complaint that had originally been lodged with the Department of Transport regarding the incident and it was being investigated.

‘People going onto (Seal Island) is something that is reported from time to time, but it’s not too common,’ she said.

‘We have marine rangers who work with Shoalwater Marine Park and regularly patrol the area and move people on when needed.’

Seal Island is home to upwards of 20 male sea lions at a time, and restricted access to the natural reserve island exists, in part, because they can be territorial and aggressive.