Dead seals showing up in Casco Bay

First off, let me say that the images at the bottom of this post are extremely gruesome to the point where I seriously debated even posting them at all.

The thing is, I’m hoping to help create some awareness for the problem. So yes, below you will find three pictures of dead seals. I’ve seen several of them in the three years that I’ve been working on the lobster boat, but these three all showed up within the last month.

seal05The most disturbing of the three pictures shows one of the seals with it’s head spit open wide. I didn’t take the picture of that one with the intention of blogging about it, I just wanted to find out what the cause of death had been.

So I sent the picture to Deputy Harbor Master Lance Hannah and he gave his diagnosis: “Absence of shot holes which would have spread bigger than his head rules out a gun shot. The open wound would have released decomposition gases, so the seal died on the surface. My guess, propeller strike. Rest of the damage was caused by birds.”

He continued: “You could do a piece about slowing down in the known harbor seal areas like the inner harbor, Pomroy Rock and Clapboard Island Ledges. Down in Florida, propeller strikes on manatee’s spurred a change in speed laws.”

So with that said, the pictures are posted below. I’ve given ample space between this sentence and the gallery, so you can still turn back, but if you scroll down a bit you will see the images.










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If anyone would like to take meaningful action to help provide these animals with better protections, I’d be happy to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me.

Chris Shorr

About Chris Shorr

Chris is a sixth generation Portlander who loves all things Maine. He has worked with mentally ill and marginalized adults at a Portland non-profit, on a lobster boat in Casco Bay, at several high-end Portland restaurants, and at a local meat packing plant. He also ran for Portland City Council in 2013, wrote a weekly column in the now defunct Portland Daily Sun, and currently writes a weekly column in The Portland Phoenix.