Moyne Shire to leave dead seal to decompose

A dead seal which has been on a Port Fairy beach for almost seven weeks is unlikely to be removed.

Resident Bill Stewart said the large seal washed up on South Beach and appeared to have been attacked by a shark. He said the area was used by residents and people walking their dogs and it was emitting an unpleasant smell.

Mr Stewart said residents reported the seal to Moyne Shire Council staff who referred them to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). But when the Moyne Gazette contacted DELWP this week, a spokeswoman said the area was not its responsibility.

Lonely figure: A dead seal will be left to decompose on Port Fairy's South Beach near where a Hands Across the Sand event was held in May. Picture: Christine Ansorge

Lonely figure: A dead seal will be left to decompose on Port Fairy's South Beach near where a Hands Across the Sand event was held in May. Picture: Christine Ansorge

Moyne’s environment officer Richard Hodgens said the South Beach was council managed land and due to its location the seal carcass was likely to be left to decompose.

“It’s a natural process to have things live and die and we don’t interfere with the majority of that unless it’s causing a massive public disturbance or public health risk,” he said. “There have been a number of instances where we have removed dead animals on the causeway to Griffiths Island and high traffic areas areas where it is of public concern. Over at the rocks at South Beach isn’t.

Quite often over there you’ll get a high tide there and it will take most of the stuff out to sea and it’s eaten by stingrays and the circular process of life goes on.” 

He said in most cases dead wildlife would be left unless there were “extenuating circumstances” such as it being on a major public walkway, road or residential driveway. 

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