Residents living near the Kent coast have made a number of reports of dead seals washing up on Kent beaches this week.
The latest sighting was on a beach in Tankerton yesterday afternoon. It follows similar issues across beaches in other counties, such as Norfolk and even as far away as Lincolnshire.
There have been a few suggestions as to the cause of the deaths, with one being possible HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza). This is a virus occurs mainly in birds, is highly contagious among birds, and can be deadly, especially in domestic poultry.
Another theory is that a storm may have caused a few unexpected deaths and it has taken a while for the seal bodies to wash up due to tides.
The other and most obvious theory, is that poor water quality or sewage dumping is the main reason behind the deaths. Critics have suggested that is the issues are caused by pollution, then other sea life would be found dead too.
It would seem that the real reasons will remain unknown until an autopsy is completed. Some people are asking for an independent autopsy, rather than a government provided one, to ensure there is no potential cover up.
If the reason does turn out to be caused by the water companies, pressure is going to increase on them to rectify the situation – along with the damage that has already been done.