‘No alarm’ after 10 dead seal pups found on beaches

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ABOUT ten seal pups have been found dead on Northumberland beaches, but officials say there is no cause for alarm.

Concerned Hadston resident Janette Govia said she has noticed an unusually high number of dead baby seals as she walks her dog along the beach at Druridge Bay and Hadston Carrs.

And she fears something is going wrong for the marine life.

“In the last few weeks I have observed a number of very young baby seals, all dead, about ten in all,” she said.

“I have lived here for seven years and have never seen so many. Of course, you see the odd seal washed up, but to see so many seems strange to me.”

However, Northumberland County Council’s Area Countryside Officer for Druridge Bay Graham Mitcheson said the deaths are not unusual at this time of year and many will be due to natural causes.

“In the last month we have had reports of a total of approximately ten seals washed up on our beaches, but we are talking along the whole coastline from Amble to South Beach in Blyth,” he said.

“This is not unusual for this time of year and there are a lot of reasons why this happens.

“Some are just nature, for example young seals swimming too far and getting exhausted, or coming inshore to shelter from rough seas during storms. There are also other problems with some fishermen shooting the seals, particularly if they get, or are in danger of getting, caught in their fishing nets.”

He added: “The council receives reports from the British Divers Association about any marine life which has washed up or likely to come onto our beaches and we take action as soon as possible to remove carcasses to keep our beaches clear.

“The second season of seal pups is due shortly, which may see more juvenile pups coming on or near the beach. Thankfully, not all lose their lives and quite often it’s just a case of them getting back to safety.”