Green tags 5086/4665

For the past few days there have been 2 female elephant seals moulting around Great Race.  The first picture was taken on Thursday in the channel between the main island and South Seal Rocks.  At the time I was only able to see her one green tag # 5086.  I have also noticed one of them hauling out in the East Bay.

This morning when I went to launch the whaler she was on the boat ramp and was pretty stubborn about moving out of the way.

I was able to get a closer look at her tail and see a second green tag # 4665.

Visible in these last two photos, one of the tags has become a substrate for gooseneck barnacles.  I appreciate that someone is working to tag and track these animals but I have a hard time believing that these tags aren’t a nuisance to the animals and that over the long distances they travel and hunt these wouldn’t create a noticeable amount of drag and encumbrance.

On Friday afternoon Erik and Laura came out to Race Rocks in second nature with a group of student divers as well as 6 visitors who toured around the island.  Erik cleaned and moved the underwater camera, Pam got a good image capture. There was a dive boat in the reserve this morning.