Sid the salmon-eating seal "not having an effect" on fish in the River Wye – South Wales Argus

Posted: June 20, 2021 at 12:57 am

A SEAL, nicknamed Sid, which has been spotted eating fish in the River Wye near Chepstow is not having an effect on salmon stocks according to Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

It has been noted that his impact on the river's salmon could be more than that of the area's fishermen - who are now required to adopt a catch-and-release method.

Sid the seal 'not having an effect' on salmon stocks in the Wye

The fishermen at Black Rock Lave Net Heritage Fishery, for example, have long debated with NRW over the implementation of this rule.

The fishermen said that such a rule could spell the end of their craft.

NRW, however, have said that Sid's salmon-catching is not having any effect on the stocks of the fish in the river.

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"There are two types of seal found around the British Isles the common (harbour) seal and the grey seal," said a spokesperson.

Sid the seal 'not having an effect' on salmon stocks in the Wye

"Both are relatively common and in certain areas are seeing their numbers increase an issue which some say is responsible for reducing fish stocks and leads to concerns from sea and freshwater anglers alike.

"They are on the IUCN Red List for endangered species, grey seals are protected by the Habitats Directive and the Conservation of Seals Act in the UK and have legal protection in Special Areas of Conservation and Special Sites of Scientific Interest.

Sid the seal 'not having an effect' on salmon stocks in the Wye

They said that seals such as Sid are a"a natural feature of the Wye estuary and are often spotted there".

Sid's antics are, NRW said: "An example of nature in action.

"The seal is within its natural range.

"It is not an indication that the salmon stocks are either declining or recovering."

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Sid the salmon-eating seal "not having an effect" on fish in the River Wye - South Wales Argus

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