Overfishing is an growing problem for seals and many other marine animals. Many fish stocks around the world are on the verge of collapse, because humans are taking too many fish from the sea and using unsustainable fishing methods. Marine pollution is the other key threat to species such as the Australian Sea-lion, and is often caused by common items of rubbish, which are left to wash into our waterways.
The Australian Sea-lion has felt the affects of these threats more than any other seal species in the Southern Hemisphere, and is one of the most endangered seal species in the world, with fewer than 12,000 left. They are the only seal species that is found on Australian coastlines and nowhere else, inhabiting the waters and beaches of South Australia and Western Australia.
Taronga Zoo houses six Australian Sea-lions, which play a vital role in raising awareness about the plight of their wild counterparts. The Taronga Zoo seal presentation focuses on the natural history of the species, marine pollution and overfishing in an effort to raise awareness of man’s impact on, and responsibility for, the marine environment.
The development of a pocket-sized sustainable seafood guide, aimed at helping people make sustainable choices when purchacing seafood, has raised consumer awareness of the impact we have on our marine environment. This guide can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
Taronga Zoo’s Australian Marine Mammal Research Centre studies species such as the Australian Sea-lion and devise strategies to help ensure that it has a future in the wild. The Australian Sea-lion breeding program at Taronga Zoo contributes important information to our understanding of this species.
Taronga also provides training to help care for wildlife affected by oil spills across the world and our wildlife hospital aims to heal and release all injured land and marine animals.