Headlines – News – Articles
6th November, 2011

New monk seal sightings in Italy

— Luigi Guarrera – Gruppo Foca Monaca Italia

Sighting at Giglio

GFM – Gruppo Foca Monaca Italia reports two recent, confirmed monk seal sightings along the Italian coasts.

The first one took place in July in the same area where in 2002 a young monk seal was observed for a considerable time and many photos taken, Metaponto, in southern Italy (Basilicata). Some tourists from Trento saw, not far from the shore, and for about an hour, a couple of adult  seals with a “playing attitude” (probably courtship). Unfortunately they did not have any camera or mobile with camera, but — when interviewed — gave very detailed information about the sighting.

A second sighting — following on from photos taken in 2009 almost in the same area — took place in September in the island of Giglio, within the National Park of Tuscan Archipelago. GFM was contacted by a person who declared that he was fishing from a boat at the sighting moment, and whose attention was drawn by some bathers on land pointing out the presence of a “strange fish”.  At a meeting with GFM experts he brought also a photo he had taken, apparently showing a young seal.  As TMG readers may remember, other confirmed sightings took place in 2010 in the island of Elba and, a bit more north, near Portofino.

During 2011, monk seals were also sighted in the island of Marettimo (Sicily), where GFM has enjoyed a good relationship with local fishermen and the staff of the Egadi Islands Marine Regional Park since 2009.


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