Cyprus Mail

Seal born in the Akamas found dead in the north


A dead monk seal thought to have been caught in fishing nets was found in the north by monk seal conservation group Spot.

Haris Nicolaou, part of the government’s Mediterranean seal conservation group, said that the specific seal, named Kiniras, was known to the team as it was born in the Akamas in 2019.

Nicolaou said that the seal is not the government’s responsibility, as it was found in the north, where EU regulations on endangered species do not apply.

Spot, a group dedicated to seal conservation in the north, speculated that the animal had been caught in fishing nets, as there was no reason to believe it had a prolonged injury or disease.

“There are no borders in the sea, animals travel,” Nicolaou said, emphasising a need for a consolidated effort to protect endangered species.

SPOT recorded the seal as having travelled over 200km in 10 days and had it continued it may have returned to the south within the next few days.

An autopsy will be undertaken on Monday.

Earlier this month Agriculture Costas Kadis said the endangered Mediterranean monk seal population had had its most significant increase ever recorded in Cyprus.

Their population has now reached 19, Kadis said, and this has been achieved through the protective measures which have been implemented in the past few years.

Last month a breeding site for the seals was identified for the first time in the north.

Four adults/sub-adults and three pups were identified in three of the eight sea caves which were monitored.

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