The Irish Seal Sanctuary (ISS) is run by professionally qualified, wildlife and marine expert volunteers who provide rescue and rehabilitation expertise, education, advise and advocacy related to marine life for the entire country.
Ireland has 6,000 km of coastline excluding islands and has jurisdiction over 18% of European waters.
The Irish Seal Sanctuary deals mainly with seals – Grey Seals and Harbour Seals – but has rescued and provides advise on the rescue of other wildlife including dolphins, porpoises, otters, and birds in distress.
In Ireland, Grey seals are a Protected Species under the Irish Wildlife Act, 1976 and The EU’s Marine Mammal Protection Act, 1972.
In the early 1900’s due to hunting, they were almost extinct in our waters but these Protection Acts have allowed their numbers to start to recover.
Over the past 20+ years we have seen a dramatic increase in the demand for our services. We deal with in excess of 1,000 telephone calls every year asking for advice and reporting injured or distressed seals, or marine related animal incidents.
The Irish Seal Sanctuary is most grateful to the public for their past donations and to the Department of Agriculture and Department of Environment for their former funding.
We have been and continue to be sustained largely by voluntary efforts and the support of the public who are as passionate about the Irish marine life and wildlife as we are.