top of page
Screenshot 2023-06-13 180949.png
  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

A response: The changing sealscape of Narooma

The Beagle Editor, Two points regarding David Clark’s letter (The Beagle 30th Jan 2023) : The changing sealscape of Narooma

At least ten years ago one of the professional fishermen who had fished out of Narooma for longer than I have lived here ie since 1978 told me that by long term arrangement with local seagoing fishermen only 8 seals were permitted to live at Montague. Any extras were shot. With my wife and later my sons I sailed from Mystery Bay to Montague on many occasions. My recollection is that there were about 8 seals in 1978. This number remained stable probably until the end of the 1980s. We were always delighted to see them.

From about 1990, seal numbers increased dramatically due to the replacement of the manned light house with an automatic light and the subsequent arrival of NPWS staff to keep an eye on the island and it’s surrounds.

Charter fishing and sightseeing also commenced during the 1990s.

I regularly snorkel at Montague. Always in the gutter where I anchor my yacht and where all the charter boats take their loads of tourists after visiting the lighthouse.

There are many seals. I see maybe ten adults at any one time in the water and lots of young seals in season. On the rocks at any one time there are hundreds of resting seals. There are in exactly the same area thousands of very healthy looking and very fast fish of all sizes.

Seal numbers have slowly increased at the Apex cleaning table. The only reason there are any seals in the area is that amateur fishermen feed them with scraps. No scraps. In time no seals. They are smart. Tourists love the seals pelicans cormorants and big stingrays being fed.

David, no criticism whatsoever intended. Just wanting to add to the discussion.


Tom Michelsen

Marine Drive, Narooma

Creator: OEH Copyright: NSW Government

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

bottom of page