Korea's oceans ministry builds artificial habitat for spotted seals near Baengnyeong Island

  • 5 years ago
Korea's oceans ministry has built an artificial habitat for endangered spotted seals.
The ministry and local residents of Baengnyeong-do Island hope the habitat will serve as a comfortable resting spot for the seals and help preserve the species.
Park Se-young has more.
After giving birth to pups around northeast China in the winter, spotted seals spend the spring and summer near Korea's Baengnyeong-do Island.
Spotted seals need to spend time on land to adjust their body temperature and regain strength.
Every year, more than 300 seals scramble for a spot on the rocks of Baengnyeong-do Island.
This is why the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries has built a 350-square-meter artificial resting area for them.
"Since the Mulbeom Rock is not big enough for the population, younger seals are found near the artificial resting ground."
The residents of Baengnyeong-do Island welcome the new habitat for the seals, …which are considered the island's mascots.
"As students and local residents, we will monitor the habitat and study not only seals, but also the rockfish and spotty belly greenling which seals eat."
Spotted seals grow to an average length of one-point-five meters, weighing between 80 and 130 kilograms.
The seal population in the Yellow Sea has declined from roughly eight thousand seals in the 1940s to an estimated 12-hundred seals by the 2000s, ..due to overhunting for leather and to be used in medicines.
The oceans ministry has asked local residents to keep a close eye on the seals and help protect them.
Park Se-young, Arirang News.