Wooing back the seals

Published: Friday 30 June 2000

stringent environmental laws and greater investment in waste water treatment plants have helped to reintroduce grey seals in Poland's Baltic shores. And already the results are beginning to show.

In 1900, there were around 100,000 grey seals in the Baltic. They were, however, considered a pest because they tore fishing nets. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Polish government and the neighbouring countries decided to reduce their number and the fish were gradually wiped out.

The seals are, however, being given a fresh lease of life with the introduction of a programme by the Gdansk University's Oceanography Institute in Hel, a former fishing village. In a year or two the first of the seal pups grown under the programme pups will be introduced in the Baltic waters.

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