A marine conservation institute on Wednesday reported the recent death of seven protected Mediterranean monk seals and said that there was evidence to suggest they had been deliberately killed.
In comments to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, the director of the nongovernmental Archipelago organization said that two of the seals were discovered washed up on the coast of Samos in the eastern Aegean and had ligature marks around their necks.
Tying seals’ necks with rope, said Thodoris Tsimbidis, “is a common practice of the murderers of the seas as they try to make their victims and evidence of their crime disappear.”
Similar marks were also spotted on the neck of one of two seals that washed up in the northern Dodecanese, while three more of the graceful marine mammals were discovered dead in Skiathos, Kos and Rhodes.
Attributing such actions to a “small minority of fishermen,” Tsimbidis said that “we need to stop accepting the murder of animals as something that is commonplace,” adding that “every possible effort must be made to track such incidents, but also the killers who continue to circulate on our seas.”