Ballina councillors look for culling of seal numbers

The elected members of the Ballina Municipal District have agreed to send a letter to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to request the cull of a number of seals in Killala Bay.

Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District, Fianna Fáil Cllr Michael Loftus, told the meeting that he had noticed around 150 seals around the Bartragh Island area while on a search last weekend with the Grainne Uaile Sub Aqua Search and Recovery Unit.

Cllr Loftus went on to say that he believed the seals are contributing to a reduction in the numbers of wild salmon on the River Moy and that people were unable to get locally caught wild salmon in restaurants in the town.

Fine Gael Cllr Jarlath Munnelly backed the call for some sort of cull, saying: "The seals are at the top of the food chain and they don't have a natural predator, nobody is talking about wiping them out by the way, it is about cutting back the numbers because they don't have a natural predator.

"I think it should be done in an orderly way, nobody wants to eliminate the seals at all, it is about balancing the eco-system and wild salmon is under threat, no question."

Cllr Seamus Weir added: "I know myself we are going to have the environmentalists and the Greens on us" and "I know myself you can't open your mouth these days and you're the worst in the world."


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