Fur seal pops up on fishing trip

This little bloke was snapped in Tin Can Bay on Saturday near the mouth of Kauri Creek.
This little bloke was snapped in Tin Can Bay on Saturday near the mouth of Kauri Creek. Helen Bushell

IS IT a bird? Is it a dugong? No, it's a New Zealand fur seal - in the balmy waters of Tin Can Bay.

Gympie amateur fishermen Sam Garrett and Helen Bushell snapped this photo (right) on Saturday morning of what Sea World yesterday confirmed to be a fur seal a long way from its home in South Australia.

The duo was fishing in a tinnie near the mouth of Kauri Creek about 9.30am when they spotted something unusual in the distance and decided to motor in closer to see what it was.

"At first we thought it was two birds," Ms Bushell said yesterday. "Then when we got right up to it we realised it was a seal. We couldn't believe it."

The pair got within 2m of the apparently relaxed marine mammal, which they said appeared to be in good health and perfectly aware that they were there.

"It didn't even move for about a minute," Ms Bushell said. "Sam had to turn the boat so we didn't bump into him. He didn't seem scared of us. He stayed like that (in the photo) for a while, then swam around a bit and then dived under and that was it. We didn't see him again."

The pair had been catching lots of small whiting in the area and had seen seven or eight dolphins nearby around the same time.

New Zealand fur seals are regularly spotted off the Gold Coast but Sea World marine sciences director Trevor Long said yesterday there were more than ever this year and he wasn't sure why.

"Whether it's an environmental issue or a nutrition issue we are not certain," he said.

Sea World had recently taken four lost, undernourished seals into its care, including one found near Moreton Island that had not been able to be nursed back to health.

A workshop including Sea World, government departments and other relevant organisations, will be held on the Gold Coast next month to determine the best approach to the escalating problem.

"The temperature is higher up here, the food source is different - they are not supposed to be up here," Mr Long said.

He said the Tin Can Bay seal, though it appeared to be in good condition, could have been looking to the Gympie boat for some food, as others who got caught in the northerly sweep up the east coast had been known to do.

Gympie Times

Topics:  gympie sea world tin can bay

Busy time for police on Cunningham Highway

Police were on scene at the accidents.

Police busy with accidents and a drink drive charge on highway

Fire fighters battle house fire in Southern Downs region

Fire appliances are on scene at Glen Aplin.

Fire fighters battle house fire at Glen Aplin

Weather perfect for today's Heavy Horse Day at Yangan

Heavy horse action down the years.

Weather perfect to heavy horse day

Local Partners

Australia Day Award nominations now open

ALL those who know someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the Warwick community is encouraged to nominate them for an Australia Day Award.

Former Split Enz front man Tim Finn finds new niche

Singer Tim Finn has written the music for theatre production Ladies in Black.

Musician finds his way to theatre

Former Warwick State High student is second

Victorian rider and former Warwick High student Lee Kimber (right) goes for his beast at the Warwick Rodeo.

Former Warwick High student to compete in national finals

13 things to do on the Southern Downs this weekend

Darcy Meek (left) is the early leader in parkrun on Saturday before being first man home.

Photo Gerard Walsh / Warwick Daily News

Here's a list of 13 things to do this weekend.

Top floor teams take out The Block's terrace week

Kim and Chris pictured on their winning outdoor terrace in a scene from The Block.

RIVALS Kim and Chris and Julia and Sasha tie in final week of work.

Bob Dylan slammed as 'arrogant' for Nobel silence

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan.

Singer the controversial winner of literature Nobel

Shannen Doherty reveals fear of dying in post on chemo

Actor Shannen Doherty shared this image of her lying in a hospital bed after a chemotherapy session.

Actor has been fighting cancer since 2015

Eddie Redmayne's stage fright on latest Harry Potter film

Actor Eddie Redmayne stars in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Actor felt like kid again when he got to film with a wand

Salma Hayek: 'Trump planted story because I turned him down'

Actor Salma Hayek is the latest woman who says U.S presidential nominee Donald Trump acted inappropriately.

Salma Hayek latest woman to accuse Trump of misconduct

Brisbane snake catcher shows who's the Boss

Brisbane snake catcher Julia Baker returns in season two of Snake Boss.

Hit show Snake Boss is back for another season

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track