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Police increase patrols after reports of stones being thrown at seals and their pups

10 Sep 2023 3 minute read
Grey seal pup. Photo NRW

Dyfed-Powys Police and National Resources Wales (NRW) have increased patrols at a Pembrokeshire beauty spot to protect seals and their pups during the breeding season after reports that stones had been thrown at them.

Regular checks to Pwll Y Wrach have been introduced to ensure the seals are not being interfered with.

According to reports last week, stones were being thrown at an area where seal pups congregate. In addition, there were a large number of accounts of people getting too close when taking part in various water sport activities.

There have been numerous sightings of female seals in and around Pwll Y Wrach and this week a dead pup was spotted floating inside.

The Pembrokeshire Coast Park Authority has also put temporary signs in place at some known pupping locations to raise awareness for visitors who may not realise it is popular with seals.


PC Roger Jones, of Dyfed-Powys Police seconded to Natural Resources Wales, said: “We have growing concerns for the welfare of the seals who are using the area to breed and have pups at the area known locally as the Witches Cauldron (Pwll Y Wrach).

“We urge people to take heed of our request to stay away from the area to give seals the space and time they need. Getting too close to the seals could frighten and disrupt them and remember, seals are protected, and it is a criminal offence to intentionally injure, kill or remove them from their natural habitat.

“We will be carrying out extra patrols to protect the seals and I urge people to report any concerns they have to police by calling 101 or reporting online, and follow advice on what to do if you see seal activity.”

NRW has also issued advice to visitors if they see any signage or seal activity.

From land people are advised to:

Keep off beaches where pups are present.

Keep quiet.

Keep dogs on leads.

Keep a low profile – below the horizon line to make it harder for seals to see you.

From water:

Do not land on pupping beaches from 01/08 to 30/11.

Avoid creeping up on seals or approaching them bow on.

Keep your distance and keep at least 50m* away from seals unless they approach you.

Allow seals an escape route and avoid boxing them in.

Do not seek to swim with, touch or feed seals.

Noise disrupts. Keep speed below 5 knots on arrival and departure. Keep viewing time to 10 minutes.

Move away if you observe disturbance, such as rapid swimming to and fro, sudden panic diving, and re-entry into the water.

If a pup is alone on a beach, it usually means that its mother is nearby in the water. Make sure you keep well away so she can return to her pup when she needs to.

If you witness seals being disturbed or mistreated call the police on 101.

If you believe a seal is in distress, call Welsh Marine Life Rescue on 07970 285086 or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

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Barbara H.
10 months ago

The human race is vile! I can only imagine how much whining and whinging would happen if rocks were thrown at them. Senseless!

10 months ago
Reply to  Barbara H.

Unbelievable but normal behaviour from the dregs of society these days! Anyone seen presenting with this type of action should face the full force if the law!!

10 months ago
Reply to  A.Redman

These are not those who you would normally label in such a way. They are “outdoor enthusiasts” with kayaks and body-boards, some in organised groups, who want to move the seals away from this area so that they can say there are none there and it’s OK to continue their activities. They have so far deliberately ignored the existing warning signs and pleas from locals to desist.

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