Though on one hand, the conservationists have all reasons to be delighted to find the ‘once hunted to extinction’ fur seal reaching the record levels by breeding so lustily, on the other, their hearty appetite has given birth to fears that they would leave the area’s other wildlife like whales and penguins with too little food!
The Antarctic wildlife needs to feed on the shrimp-like krill, which are under major threat. The South Georgia’s fur seals are eating more and more of these ocean krill. So, as a solution, the island’s government-connected people think it to be necessary to cull these seals for ensuring food for the region’s fin, blue and humpback whales and macaroni and gentoo breeds of penguins to thrive.
But, defying this logic of some of the people, Dr Jaume Forcada, a senior scientist at the British Antartic Survey’s scientific research station at Bird Island, just off the north-west coast of South Georgia said,
But there’s no reason to do that. The seals aren’t a pest for humans, or a threat to either the krill, the area’s eco-system, or the whales or penguins.
The rapidly growing number of seals isn’t a problem. Even if there are four million, there would still be enough krill left to support the island’s penguin population and the area’s 5,000-10,000 whales.