Headlines – News – Articles
1st August, 2012

Harassment of Croatian monk seal by tourists captured on camera

Disturbance of a beach-loafing Mediterranean monk seal by tourists on the Croatian island of Cres, has been caught on camera and published by local NGO Blue World Institute. The species, once considered effectively extinct along this coast, has been making something of a comeback in recent years. Though some have characterised the incident as ‘minor’, accusing conservationists of exaggeration, it is perhaps worthwhile noting that such disturbance to a resting monk seal would be considered illegal in Hawaii, potentially incurring fines of up to $50,000. The return of the monk seal to Croatia is likely to result in increasing interactions of this kind, both in number and intensity. It is perhaps time for the Croatian authorities and international bodies concerned with the survival of the species — whoever they may be — to map out practical strategies to minimise the impact of such interactions.

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