Stepping onto Seal Rocks just off the western tip of Victoria's Phillip Island is a sensory overload.
There are bellowing sounds of thousands of seals calling to each other and remarkably cute pups playing in the surf nearby.
Then you're hit by the Australian fur seal colony's pungent smell.
But there is little time to take it all in as the hunt is immediately underway for seals that are caught in fishing line, trawler net, ribbon from balloons and all sorts of other plastic rubbish.
Hundreds of seals begin scrambling away, headed for the water, as a team of scientists and volunteers runs across slippery rocks, trying to catch a seal with wire caught around its neck.
Rebecca McIntosh is a research scientist at Phillip Island Nature Parks and she leads the charge.
The seal gets away before the team get to it.
For three years, Rebecca has been coming out to Seal Rocks every two months or so, hoping to save the lives of seals entangled in rubbish and to monitor the population.
She thinks increasing numbers of seals are getting caught in plastic waste, and she worries many affected seals go unobserved.
"When we land, we scare a lot of seals in the water and we don't get to see every entanglement that's here," she said.
"Sometimes we'll see one, sometimes we'll see 11.
"The recorded number is 21 per year, but the modelling I've done shows it could be 300. And if there's that many getting entangled then it could actually have a population-level effect."
Playful seal pups caught in deadly debris
It's not good news for the seals they don't manage to help.
The plastic does not fall off or break down over time.
Seal pups are the most susceptible because of their habit of playing with objects in the water.
"What will happen to them is it will keep growing into their skin as the animal grows, because it's mostly the smaller animals that get entangled because they're so playful," she said.
"So as the pups and juveniles grow, it cuts in deeper and deeper until it kills them."
Despite numerous education campaigns about the dangers posed by marine rubbish, Rebecca says there has been little change over the last decade.
"Unfortunately we haven't seen much of a drop in that entanglement rate despite the fact that the commercial fishing fleet has halved," she said.
"I think it's a case of plastics have become even more user friendly.
"They're used for everything and the production of plastics has increased dramatically in the last 50 years and it's still going up."
The day we're out at the rocks, we see four seals with netting around their necks. That's above the average of three seals per trip.
Roger Kirkwood used to work at Phillip Island Nature Parks as a seal researcher. He now lends a hand to team members when they head out on a trip.
Perched on a rock for a short break during the day's work, he said the fight to save seals from the impact of humans would not stop anytime soon.
"I had thought it would gradually decline over time as we took more and more entanglements off seals, but it just seems to be an ongoing thing," he said.
"This is just one colony here as well. There's another 11 or more around Bass Strait which we don't get to.
"We're just band-aiding part of the problem but we're doing the best we can."
Spending the night with thousands of seals
Another few attempts to catch seals with entanglements fail and the team heads into a hut on the rocks for a cup of tea.
The hut isn't just a place to rest - it'll be where four of them sleep tonight, so they can continue their work first thing in the morning.
"Welcome" rescue team member Tony Mitchell says to us. "It's five star isn't it?"
It's a stone and concrete hut with a hard floor, a bench, table and a few wooden chairs. The team will roll out a yoga mat each and sleep the night on the floor.
There will be little insulation from the cold, or the smell and sound of the seals.
Roger says Seal Rocks is a magical place that keeps drawing him back.
"I feel very lucky to have come out here and I've tried to get as many people out here as I could ... people who can influence things in the future, perhaps young students, because it is magical," he said.
"We put a lot of time into trying to catch the seals. It can take half a day to creep up into a good position where you try and catch one."
Rebecca says determination is a crucial part of having the energy to keep going, even if the team doesn't manage to detangle any seals.
"You absolutely have to believe that you will catch that seal. You're running over wet rocks, and there's animals moving around you and all you can see is that individual in front of you," she said.
The team has started using drones to fly over the colony and nearby waters.
Rebecca hopes the footage taken will give her hard data about the number of seals with entanglements that are being missed.
It is a less invasive way to monitor the population, while still giving researchers the information they need.
The team is hopeful that increased monitoring will give them greater insight into the colony's movements.
"The peak we've seen in pup production here, the peak number was back in 2007. We just need to get a little bit more data to understand what that could mean," she said.
Rebecca says there are simple ways to help keep more seals alive.
"Don't release balloons, they just end up in the environment and that ribbon cuts into the seals neck so tightly. And put your plastic bags into the bin," she said.
"Think about the bigger picture, which is our environment."