Fur Seals at Montague Island – Sapphire Coast NSW
Montague Island is home to several colonies of the Fur Seals. Australian Fur Seals tend to gather on the northern end of the Island while the New Zealand Fur Seals gather around the southern end.
During the 1800s the Australian Fur Seal was heavily hunted for its coat and the population dropped from several hundred thousand to only 20,000. Entanglement in discarded fishing gear is also a threat. All Australian marine mammals are protected and the Australian Fur Seal population is making a recovery.
How many seals live on Montague Island?
Numbers in the Australian fur seal colony at the northern end of the island vary between about 25 for most of the year and 700 during the breeding season, usually the winter months. However the numbers appear to be increasing year on year.
Do the seals permanently live on the island, if not where do they come from?
The seals migrate from breeding areas in Bass Strait. It is thought that Montague Island is not a breeding colony, although fishermen over the years claim to have sighted seal pups.
The seal colony on Montague Island is the most northern colony in Australia.
What do they feed on?
Australian Fur Seals feed on a variety of bony fish species plus squid and octopus. They are voracious and skilful hunters in the water and are not adverse to taking advantage of situations where fish are corralled by nets and fish farms.
Seal Tours to Montague Island