• Germany's news in English

Grey seal watching trips start as population stabilises

DDP/The Local · 6 Dec 2009, 13:32

Published: 06 Dec 2009 13:32 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The seals were nearly wiped out during the last century by fishermen who considered them competition for prey - and wanted to secure five Reichsmarks per pelt paid by the Prussian government.

At one point it was thought there were just 1,500 left in the Baltic Sea, and just 100 or so on the east German coast.

Now their numbers are recovering, thanks to seals moving in from the Scandinavian coast line, and a population has been identified on the north German island of Rügen.

The first seal-watching boat went out to see them on Saturday, although weather conditions were not ideal for photographs, leaving some on board somewhat disappointed.

The seal-watching trips have promised to remain at least 400 metres away from the animals, from where they can be seen yet not disturbed.

Story continues below…

“These seals have been here for thousands of years, and were wiped out by people. Now we can be witnesses to their return," said Henning von Nordheim from the Federal Office for Nature Protection.

The boat trips to see the seals are limited, and will be regularly reviewed to ensure the seals are not disturbed. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) suggested the trips be delayed, but is said to be happy with the agreement for boats to keep their distance.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

14:01 December 6, 2009 by cleavage
In Canada, they would have clubbed it and skinned it alive. There are laws in Canada that say you are not allowed to witness the clubbing of a seal or you'll be thrown in Jail!

Please boycott the canadian olympics because of its shameful killing of baby seals.

They pelts have the penises attached when sold so that China will buy them as an sex enhancer. Selling a penis is deemed to crude for Canada but if it's attached to the pelt, A ok.
Today's headlines
Munich to get 'nice toilets' to serve cross-legged locals
Photo: DPA

The Bavarian capital has a pee problem - the city only has one public toilet for every 13,000 inhabitants. But a new plan could rescue desperate locals, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

German kids get glowing report for their English skills
Photo: DPA.

As if multilingual Germans don't already put many English-speakers to shame, now the younger generation is improving their English skills even more.

Berlin museum controversially recreates Hitler bunker
The reconstruction of the Hitler bunker. Photo: DPA

Sensationalized or compelling history? Berlin museums clash over new Nazi bunker exhibit

Germans think they're fit, but they're really couch potatoes
Photo: DPA.

There's been an increase in the number of Germans who define themselves as "fit", but their lifestyle choices don't quite match this self-perception.

10 fascinating facts you never knew about German beer
Tennis coach Boris Becker and his wife Lilly at Oktoberfest 2016 in Munich. Photo: DPA

From malt and monks to Radlers and rivalries, the story of German beer is as rich and wonderful as its selection.

Intensive farming 'endangers a third of German species'
Photo: DPA

There are 32,000 species of animal, plant and mushroom life native to Germany. Due to intensive farming methods, one in every three of these is endangered, a new report shows.

German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd