Seal is Hauling Out in Ocean City
(May 25, 2020) Police have marked off the area to keep people from getting too close. This is for the protection of the seal & people admiring the animal. We reached out to DNR so they are aware. Read below to find out why seals end up on the beach, and why people shouldn’t get close.
Seals Are Protected
Many do not know that seals are a protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Therefore, it is illegal to touch, feed, or harass a seal. By keeping 50 yards away from a seal, you can best ensure that harassment or change in their behavior will not occur. If you encounter a seal that has hauled out, please contact Marine Animal Rescue Program at 410-576-3880 or 1-800-628-9944.
What is Hauling Out?
Seal haul out for many reasons, mating, giving birth, predator avoidance, thermal regulation, social activity, parasite reduction, and rest. A non-trained observer, may take in their cute faces and want a closer look, but seals in our area are often hauling due to rest or distress. Contact or run ins with humans and dogs on the beach put all at risk; as the seal is still a mammal that can have and pass viruses and diseases along to you or your pet.
Seal Steward Responsibility
When a seal hauls and MARP response team deems it healthy, the stewards take two -hour shifts watching the seal and making sure beach goers keep a safe distance. They are also there to provide specific information on the seal they are watching.
If you see a seal in the bay, call call 410-213-2297 ext. 106 and it will be registered to keep track of sightings. UNLESS it is in distress, then please call MARP number above.