Sea Shepherd Global announces Operation Saimaa Seal; a campaign to protect the world's most endangered seal and one of the most endangered mammals in the world, the Saimaa ringed seal of Lake Saimaa, Finland.
The Saimaa ringed seal is on the brink of extinction with experts predicting that the species will be completely wiped-out within a few decades. Current estimates suggest there are as little as 310 individuals left.
One of the biggest threats to the critically endangered Seal is illegal fishnets and fish traps.
Net fishing is outlawed in Finnish nature reserves during spring and the use of fish traps is regulated in order to minimize the potential harm they pose to the Seal. However, despite the efforts of the few dedicated inspectors, current regulations are poorly enforced and, as such, offer little in the way of protection.
Each year Saimaa seals drown in illegal fishnets and traps. Young animals are especially at risk because they do not know how to watch out for the traps. Due to the low population numbers of the Seal, even a few deaths could be catastrophic for the survival of the species.
From April to June 2015, Sea Shepherd volunteers will patrol Finnish nature reserves for illegal fishnets and traps. Patrol groups will inform local law enforcement of infringements to ensure that wherever possible, illegal fishnets and fish traps are documented, reported and confiscated.
Operation Saimaa Seal has been developed with information from leading experts specializing in the protection of the Saimaa ringed seal, and is aimed to significantly improve the chance of the survival of the species.
Volunteer applications for Operation Saimaa Seal are now closed
Due to overwhelming interest, we have now fulfilled all of our volunteer vacancies.
We’re still accepting donations of food and equipment. If you wish to make a donation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your interest and on-going support.
For campaign updates and more information, visit: www.facebook.com/seashepherdfinland