Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus

The Australian Fur Seal is the largest seal found in Australian waters. They have large eyes and a pointed face with whiskers.

They frequent coastal waters and occasionally visit beaches on the mid north coast of NSW. Pregnant females come ashore just prior to giving birth, typically to a single pup, between October and December. If you see them on the beach keep a respectful distance and restrain your dog. Swimmers are advised not to approach within 30m of a seal.

They are fully protected in Australia, although their numbers are probably still only half those of the historic pre seal hunting days. Entanglement in discarded fishing gear is also a threat and they are vulnerable to disturbance at breeding sites.

With its streamlined shape and strong flippers, the Australian Fur Seal is an agile swimmer and can dive to depths of 200m to catch fish and squids. Fur seals differ from other seals because they have external ears and the ability to use all four limbs to move across land.

If you see a seal in distress contact ORCCA (orrca.org.au) on (02) 9415 3333.