Recently, volunteers from China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) Community Conservation Area for spotted seals (CCAfa) organized another field observation of the spotted seals population in Liaodong Bay of the Bohai Sea. A little volunteer truly recorded their experience along the way.
Early in the morning, they fully charged their equipment because they wanted to take more pictures of spotted seals.
Reaching the offshore location of Observation Point 1, they met a group of fishermen who were busy selling freshly caught fish and shrimp. In order to get information from the fishermen, CBCGDF volunteers did not hesitate to spend a few pounds and told others not to feed wild animals.
The sand on the natural beach is very delicate. Volunteers thought they would see spotted seals, but there were only a few fishing boats and roaring engines parked on the beach.
At Observation Point 2, they found that it was a “sea cucumber breading area”. The volunteers rely on the sea to face the wind, and excited by the billows of “white flowers” on the sea surface, only to find a neat row of white foam boards after saw through binoculars. They guessed that it was a fishing gear installed for breeding. There are also several tankers in the distance, which are known to be on the route of spotted seals.
On the way to the No. 3 Observation Point, they passed the Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Station. There are several oystercatchers on the beach. The terrain there seems to be very suitable for resting spotted seals: there are soft beaches and quiet flowing water beneath the high cliffs, but there are still no spotted seals seen.
Observation Point No. 4 is said to be the place where spotted seals inhabit the largest number. But what the volunteers team saw was a long dam, a private breeding circle surrounded. A caretaker uncle “hidden” under the bridge. Not sure if he treated the volunteers as thieves?
On the way to the No. 5 Observation Point, the little volunteer couldn’t help but ask the teacher: “Can we see the spotted seal today?” The teacher replied very seriously: “Kid, to tell the truth, I don’t know.” After driving for more than an hour, they reached the foot of the mountain, overturned a small hill on foot, and reached the No. 5 Observation Point. They suddenly realized that it was just the other end of the long dam. There, they could clearly see the dam blocking the route of the spotted seals swimming from the deep sea to the shoal, and dense fishing gears were laid on the sea surface inside the dam.
It was getting dark, and a group of people were preparing to return to Dalian. Everyone was not happy about not seeing the spotted seals. The little volunteer asked the teacher why it was so difficult to see the spotted seals. The teacher thought for a long time and did not answer immediately. They met a local family on the road. Their answer to this question was: “This winter is short, because there is no ice, spotted seals don’t have a ‘free boat’ to come in!”
For the observation experience without spotted seals on this day, the volunteers had a different feeling, which was far more than “easy and happy”.
(Photo credit: CBCGDF volunteers)
Original Chinese article: