Seal causing ‘complete carnage’ in Norwich river, claims fisherman

PUBLISHED: 19:03 09 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:15 11 January 2020

Seal spotted on the river Wensum from St Georges street. Picture: Kevin Dalton

Seal spotted on the river Wensum from St Georges street. Picture: Kevin Dalton

Kevin Dalton

A seal has again been spotted miles inland swimming in a river in Norwich, but its appearance is not universally popular.

It is believed the wild animal has been a regular visitor to the River Wensum in Norwich since October.

But fishermen are concerned about its impact on the population of carp and pike in the river, which they claim has dwindled significantly since the arrival of the seal.

Fisherman Thomas Smith said the seal was "destroying everything in the river", and caused "complete carnage".

He added the seal was affecting the community that fish in the urban area and now have to compete with the seal to catch their fish.

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A Sea and Shore Watch UK spokesman said the seal was safe despite being far away from the sea.

They added: "Seals are solitary creatures, and it's not uncommon for them to travel miles to find areas where there are large supplies of fish and no competition from other seals.

"Seals are just as happy in fresh water as in salt water, and as long as there is a good supply of fish, he could be here to stay."

One person who has spotted the seal in the Norwich river is wildlife enthusiast Kevin Dalton, who has photographed the creature catching a pike near the Norwich Playhouse theatre on St George's Street.

He said he was surprised to see the seal, which he thought looked quite young to take on such a huge fish.

Seals rarely stay in one place for a very long time, as they are known to travel thousands of kilometres a year all across the British Isles.

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