Aggressive seal sparks warning for visitors to the NSW south coast

Aggressive seal sparks warning for visitors to the NSW south coast

Aggressive seal sparks warning for visitors to the NSW south coast

Updated 7 February 2018, 13:05 AEDT

A seal that is believed to have bitten at least four people near the southern NSW town of Batemans Bay prompts a warning from its latest victim.

A charter boat operator based near Batemans Bay is warning people not to hand-feed the local seal population after he was bitten on the leg.

John Moore said he was with friends who were filleting fish at the boat ramp in Narooma's Apex Park earlier this week when a seal bit him from behind on his calf.

"I sort of jumped back a bit and pushed the seal back. It growled a couple of times and it left," he said.

Mr Moore said he was not the first person to have been bitten by the seal.

"It's been there for probably about six weeks now and it has bitten a couple of other people in the past but I think [this was] the first one that's caused bleeding," he said.

"I know of at least three others [who have been bitten]."

Mr Moore said people had been hand-feeding the animal, which may have encouraged its aggressive behaviour.

"This came about because the seal was being hand fed on the day," he said.

"Up until now people were throwing fish carcasses into the water … but some people decided it would be amusing to hand feed it and that's what emboldened the seal to do what it did.

"I don't know what the population's going to be in a month's time — it could be five or seven."

Mr Moore said when he visited the boat ramp in future he would be armed.

"I'm probably going to look at having a stick to push it away if it comes too close," he said.

Hungry seals a risk to visitors

Mr Moore called the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service to take decisive action.

"There are certain deterrents that could be used against them but National Parks aren't going to do it, they don't have the political will to do it and they're scared of any Green backlash I think," he said.

"It could be as simple as someone there with a stick just to hit it and just clear it out of the area.

"A stick's not going to hurt it, it's just going to be an educational tool."

He said he was concerned the outcome could have been more serious if it was a child who was bitten.

"[People] see these pictures of them on TV of seals they can go up to at Sea World and pat and they think the same can apply in the wild and it's certainly not the case, these are wild animals," he said.