Mediterranean monk seal supposedly sighted after 10 years near Pag
October 7, 2021 – The last time a Mediterranean monk seal was seen in Croatian waters was in 2011, near Proboj. Formerly, the species was hunted in a despicable way, hence its small population and the rarity of its observation. Ten years later, fishermen again saw them swimming in the waters of Pag.
A Mediterranean monk seal has been spotted in the waters of the island of Pag, writes Morski.hr. According to the information of several fishermen, the Mediterranean monk seal was sighted in the Pag gate at the junction of the bay of Pag and the Velebit channel, and in the area of Punta sv. Nicolas.
As Radio Pag reminds us, the Mediterranean monk seal of the island of Pag was the subject of research more than 30 years ago by prof.dr.sc. Hrvoje Gomerčić from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb, who said in his article on this research that two Mediterranean monk seals had a habitat near the Pag Bridge.
During the research, Professor Gomerčić said that by the early 1990s, this pair of Mediterranean monk seals was no longer seen in their habitat. The Mediterranean monk seal was sighted again in Pag in 2008 near Dinjiška and in 2011 near Proboj, and now ten years later it has been sighted in the waters of Pag.
It is assumed that these are Mediterranean monk seals that came to Pag from another region, but there are also opinions that they could live permanently in the waters of Pag. The answer to this question, however, should be given by experts.
The Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) lives on reefs, in caves and caves, in rocky areas that are isolated and difficult to access. There is enough of it all on the shores of the island of Pag and that is why scientists believe Pag is an ideal area for the life of the Mediterranean monk seal.
Although it resided in the Adriatic, it is known that in 1964 the last specimen of Mediterranean monk seal that lived in the Croatian part of the Adriatic was killed. This species was exterminated in the Adriatic mainly by fishermen and fishing tools, so it did not exist for decades. It reappeared in the early 2000s, and the last sighted in the northern Adriatic, in 2014, died of old age. Since then there have been no members of their species in the Croatian Sea, just as there were none before.
The Mediterranean monk seal is protected by the law on the protection of nature, and according to the ordinance on the amount of compensation for damage caused by illegal actions on protected animal species, the fine for killing a monk seal Mediterranean is 100,000 kuna. The Mediterranean monk seal is one of the most endangered marine mammals and possibly the rarest seal in the world.
Source: Jutarnji List
For more information on the Mediterranean monk seal, see its profile at the Blue World Institute website.
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