Feeding seals at Fisherman’s Wharf banned by harbour authority
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Wednesday, April 12, 2017 12:10PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 12, 2017 6:38PM PDT
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority says it’s taking steps to limit public feeding of wildlife in the capital city, including seals at Fisherman’s Wharf.
On Wednesday, the GVHA put up improved signs on the docks and says it will educate the public throughout the summer.
The harbour authority says it wants to change people’s behaviour surrounding the iconic Victoria attraction at Fisherman’s Wharf.
It’s waiting on regulations to go through with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
According to the GVHA, research conducted by the DFO has shown that hand-feeding of marine mammals damages ecosystems, habituating wildlife and affects their ability to thrive in natural environments.
It adds that feeding seals has become a public safety hazard because it attracts other aggressive wildlife like river otters and gulls to the docks.
“We know that the practice of hand-feeding marine wildlife from our docks is dangerous and unsustainable,” says Al-Nashir Charania, environmental projects coordinator at the GVHA.
A plan for permanent interpretation panels on the docks is underway, according to the authority.