How bad is the problem?

In the 1980s, scientists studying Australian Fur Seals in southern Tasmania recorded an entanglement rate of 1.9%. That meant nearly one in every 50 seals was entangled in marine debris.

At Seal Rocks, scientists have gathered data on entangled seals for more than 10 years. While rates of entanglement are lower at Seal Rocks than those recorded in southern Tasmania back in the 1980s, hundreds of entangled seals are seen at Seal Rocks.

One way to monitor the rate of entanglement is to record the number seen each time a colony is visited. Over a year, the number seen per day at the colony can be averaged. At Seal Rocks, the average number of seals seen per day over the past 10 years has been about two to three.