47 seals washed up along the Irish coast this year
The number of dead seals reported in Ireland doubled in 2020.
47 seals washed up along the Irish coast this year, according to figures released by Seal Rescue Ireland.
There has been a "recent rise" in seal deaths in Ireland, particularly in the southeast of the country.
2020 saw the highest number of reports ever, with 202 reports of dead seals around the country - more than double the number in 2019.
Speaking of this rise, Executive Director Melanie Croce of Seal Rescue Ireland said that the majority of these seals are washing up in Cork, Wexford and Waterford.
She said on RTÉ's News at One that she is "confident" the 47 reports they have received this year are all individual seals, rather than multiple members of the public contacting them about a smaller number of seals.
It is believed that climate change is to blame for the increase in seal deaths, as they are not well equipped to deal with storms.
Croce said severe storms "are on the rise because of climate change" and this makes survival "very, very hard" for seals.
She also said that seals can sometimes be caught in fishing nets and drown, but that the storms are more likely to be the issue.
She said: "This mostly happens offshore where we don't see it. But because of the storms, we're thinking that a lot of these seals are now washing up."
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