Raouche rare “monk seal” sighting at “Sporting Beach Club”
Clear close-up video by Sarah Halabi shows “monk seal” sighting at “Sporting Beach Club” in Raouche Beirut, on Wednesday 07 June 2017 at 6:26pm.
This type of seals is rare in the world, and especially in the Mediterranean, where it is one of the six most endangered animals, although it is included in the “Annex 1″ of the International Convention to Combat Animal Trafficking and in the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as well as classified in EU law as in need of solid protection.
Mediterranean Monk Seals can live up to 50 years and they give birth to 80 cm long pups. These animals were very common in Lebanon until the 1930s. They have been decimated by fishermen, coastal urbanisation, overfishing and pollution. The species has been reported extinct in Lebanon since the 1960s but some sparse and rare sightings were recorded since in two regions. The first is Ain el Mraysseh and the second was found dead in 2012, trapped in a fishing net somewhere facing Tripoli. The fact that the female is probably pregnant as announced by Operation Big Blue team, suggest that another seal may be still present along the coast of Lebanon. Operation Big Blue rescue team with Hamza Sleit – Head of Jal el Baher Fishermen Port, documented on May 27th 2017, the same monk seal in Raouche coastal caves.