Sea lions in Cowichan Bay. (Cheryl Trudell photo)

Sea lion tangled in rope on Vancouver Island

Marine debris is a ‘significant problem’ for marine wildlife

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has received a report from a member of the public urging them to attend to a sea lion that looks like it’s been caught up in some type of rope.

The animal was seen on Friday by a crabber.

READ ALSO: Victoria-based warship rescues two more sea turtles

On Monday a DFO crew was in Cowichan Bay to investigate.

“We will continue to monitor the animal to determine if it’s body condition is deteriorating,” said DFO spokesperson Lara Sloan.

“DFO is a coordinating member of the B.C. Marine Mammal Response Network,” Sloan explained. “Any action in response to a marine mammal in distress is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.”

Sloan said marine debris is a “significant problem” for marine wildlife. “The public can help by cutting packing material, banding, rope and other looped material prior to disposing of it to help prevent marine mammal entanglements,” she said. “These materials should not be disposed of in the marine environment.”

RELATED: People flocking to Vancouver Island community to see hundreds of sea lions (video)

The Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue manager Lindsaye Akhurst said her group has fielded a lot of calls about the sea lion.

“We are assembling a team and working with DFO to come over sometime in the next few days,” Akhurst said.

DFO encourages people to report all marine mammals in distress to 1-800-465-4336.



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