Seals Vs Cod

Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:59 pm

Here's on interesting twist to those who believe seals are eating all the fish....

Seems like seals are good for cod stocks, according to this article.

Re: Seals Vs Cod

Fri Aug 12, 2005 8:53 pm

It kind of puzzeled me that there is growing evidence that the seal population around our islands is growing, at a time when fish seem to be disappearing.

Then the penny dropped!

There's no shortage of small pout and pin whiting in my local estuary, and no surpise then that seals are becoming more common.

And why are the kids catching small pout and pin-whiting three at a time?

No big bass or cod around to eat them these days.

A seal is an apex predator, take out the competing predators and the size of it's available larder increases, so whereas anglers and fishermen bemoan the lack of decent fish, the seals are doing OK.

Of course in some areas they are becoming a pest to the commercial fishermen (who have removed the competing predators) and increasingly they are calling for culls.

But would culls help?

A couple of times recently, seal populations have been absolutely devastated by a distemper virus, but with plentiful small fish around, the populations have quickly bounced back.

A few hundred shot here and there, now and again, is hardly going to make much of an impact then, is it?

The only successful way to get the populations down, is to increase the population of competing predators. Bring back the big cod and bass etc,

Unfortunately that means leaving a lot fish to reach spawning size, and allowing the populations to rebuild, not taking everything that can be taken.

Tight Lines - leon