What can you do?

Much of the material that entangles seals gets into the water accidentally. For example, bits of trawl net can accidentally be torn off when the net catches on rocks on the bottom of the ocean. In the same way, recreational fishers might snag their line on the bottom and the line breaks.

But, even though it is illegal to dump rubbish at sea, a lot of material is still being deliberately thrown overboard.

Rubbish might also get into the water through neglect. People might not take sufficient care to pack away plastic bags and the wind takes them out of the boat. Bunches of party balloons with party ribbon attached might not be securely held down. Small bits of rope and twine might wash overboard from a boat.

Being aware that material could entangle seals and so taking more care with it is one way to reduce seal entanglement.

You can help the seals by simply putting all your rubbish in the bin so that it does not enter our waterways. Also if you see something is a problem, like human rubbish getting into the ocean and injuring seals, you can write letters with your concerns to the people responsible for reducing the problem, like politicians and marine managers. An issue that is publicised may receive more attention than one that is not. More education can be provided and rules can be enforced to reduce such a problem.