A SEAL in Portland has been injured after a fishing hook pierced its mouth.
Onlookers, including Maree Ainger, were shocked to see the hook and fishing line protruding from its mouth on the weekend.
"The seal was near the Portland Yacht Club where they clean the fish," Ms Ainger said.
"It was very concerning to see it with a big hook in its mouth and a long string hanging from the hook."
Ms Ainger said there were a number of young children who were worried about the seal.
"It looked distressed and very uncomfortable - especially when it sat on the string and pulled on its lip," she said.
Ms Ainger said she reported the incident to the tourist information centre after being unsure who to contact.
She said it would be good if there were signs in Portland alerting people who to call in a similar incident.
A Zoos Victoria AGL Marine Response Unit spokesman said the condition of the seal was assessed on Sunday.
"Based on assessments on Sunday, it looks like the line is not entangled around the seals neck," the spokesman said. "The AGL Marine Response Unit will continue to closely monitor the situation."
The spokesman said residents and visitors must stay 30 metres away from seals on land.
"When walking your dog, keep it on a leash and at least 50 metres away from seals," he said.
The reminder comes after the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning issued a warning to people about approaching seals after reports of an aggressive seal at Port Fairy in 2017.
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning acting senior wildlife officer Doug Stevens said people could be fined up to $3171 for feeding seals.
“When these animals are fed by people they can become dependent, and aggressive when food is not offered,” Mr Stevens said at the time.
The marine response unit spokesman urged people with concerns about marine life to contact 1300 245 678.
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