Healy-Rae demands major cull of seals

What is needed is to dramatically reduce the amount of seals, according to Michael Healy-Rae

A KERRY TD has called for a major cull of seals to prevent further losses being incurred by fishermen.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae said it is difficult enough for the fishermen to make a living but because of inaction with seal culls, they are now suffering very seriously.

“What is needed is to dramatically reduce the amount of seals in our water in the same way as we have to reduce our deer population,” he said.

Michael Healy-Rae: Cull needed

“There is no nice way to do this – the hard core facts are we need a seal cull and we need it immediately and nothing less will be sufficient,” Deputy Healy-Rae insisted.

He said officials from the National Parks and Wildlife Service recently met with fishermen and representatives of the commercial fishing industry in Killarney to discuss the issue as the seal population has exploded and is causing “detrimental losses”.

The discussions covered a broad range of issues including current inshore fishing trends and seal behaviour as well as the management of seal fishery interactions.

The NPWS has undertaken to investigate possible solutions for deterring seal interactions with static fishing gears and to continue a collaboration with the Marine Institute and the Department for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to investigate solutions in partnership with the fishing industry.

But Deputy Healy-Rae branded the response “a load of nonsense” and said a cull is the only option.

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