Mediterranean Monk Seal Supposedly Sighted After 10 Years Near Pag

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Blue World Institute
Mediterranean monk seal (referential image)
Mediterranean monk seal (referential image)

A Mediterranean monk seal was spotted in the waters of the island of Pag, writes Morski.hr. According to the information of several fishermen, the Mediterranean monk seal was seen in the Pag Gate at the junction of the Pag Bay and the Velebit Channel, and in the area of ​​Punta sv. Nicholas.

As Radio Pag reminds us, the Mediterranean monk seal on the island of Pag was researched more than 30 years ago by prof.dr.sc. Hrvoje Gomerčić from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb, who stated in his paper on this research that two Mediterranean monk seals had a habitat near the Pag Bridge.

During the research, Professor Gomerčić stated that as early as the beginning of the 1990s, this pair of Mediterranean monk seals were no longer seen in their habitat. The Mediterranean monk seal was seen again on Pag in 2008 near Dinjiška, and in 2011 near Proboj, and now ten years later it has been seen in the waters of Pag.

It is assumed that these are Mediterranean monk seals that came to Pag from another area, but there are also opinions that they may live permanently in the waters of Pag. The answer to this question, however, should be given by experts.

The Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) lives on reefs, in caves and grottoes, in isolated and hard-to-reach rocky areas. There is enough of all this on the shores of the island of Pag and that is why scientists believe that Pag is an ideal area for the life of the Mediterranean monk seal.

Although it was a resident of the Adriatic, it is known that in 1964 the last specimen of the Mediterranean monk seal that lived in the Croatian part of the Adriatic was killed. This species was exterminated in the Adriatic mainly by fishermen and fishing tools, so it did not exist for decades. It reappeared in the early 2000s, and the last one seen in the northern Adriatic, in 2014, died of old age. Since then, there have been no members of its species in the Croatian sea, just as there were none before it.

The Mediterranean monk seal is protected by the Nature Protection Act, and according to the Ordinance on the amount of compensation for damage caused by illegal actions on protected animal species, the fine for killing a Mediterranean monk seal is 100,000 kuna. The Mediterranean monk seal is one of the most endangered marine mammals and probably the rarest seal in the world.

Source: Jutarnji List

For more information about the Mediterranean monk seal, check its profile at the Blue World Institute website.

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