Dog owner fined over $1300 for seal attack

A 47-year-old Dee Why man has been fined $1320 for allegedly allowing his dog to attack an Australian fur seal in a marine reserve at Long Reef.

Australian fur-seal (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus)

Northern Beaches Council media release

The man also received a caution for not keeping his dog under control in a public place.

Photos of the alleged attack posted on social media helped identify the dog’s owner.

The Australian fur seal, a protected species, frequented Long Reef beach in late October and is believed to be the same animal seen at South Curl Curl beach earlier that month.

Mayor Michael Regan thanked community members for their concern and assistance in helping protect this rare animal.

“We are truly fortunate that such a magnificent creature visited our beaches for onlookers to admire from afar,” Cr Regan said. “People must keep at least 40 metres away from these protected animals and dogs are not permitted at all times at this particular stretch of coastline, which is designated a marine reserve.

“In addition to Long Beach Recreation Reserve prohibiting dogs, protections are in place under NSW law for the protection of all seals.”

Northern Beaches Council rangers regularly patrolled the beach where the seal frequented and NPWS officers and volunteers from the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA) checked on the animal’s welfare and proved education and advice to the public.

NPWS Manager Sydney North, Chad Weston, said “The National Parks and Wildlife Service is also investigating as people getting closer than 40 metres to seals on land can be fined up to $3300.

“We want people to report sick, injured or distressed seals to NPWS on 13000 PARKS (1300 072 757) or ORRCA on (02) 9415 3333.”

All Australian marine mammals are protected.