Australian Fur Seal

The Australian Fur Seal, Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus, is the largest of all the fur seals, weighing 200-300kg. It has a broad head, pointed snout and long, backward-sweeping whiskers. The body is robust and covered in thick, brown, layered hair, except on the front and back flippers. The males are larger than the females and when mature carry a dark mane of coarse hair. They have a set of carnivore-like teeth similar to those of a large dog or bear. Like all members of the family Otariidae (Fur seals and sea lions) they can raise their body onto their front flippers to move around on land. 

 

Distribution, Habitat, and Status

The Australian Fur seal has a relatively restricted distribution around the islands of Bass Strait, parts of Tasmania and southern Victoria. They can be seen hauling out (coming ashore) on islands off South Australia and areas of southern New South Wales such as Montague Island with the occasional animal appearing as far north as the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. Their preferred habitat, especially for breeding, is rocky islands, which include boulder or pebble beaches and gradually sloping rocky ledges.

As it is closely related to the South African Fur Seal, its populations worldwide are reasonably secure although it is occasionally commercially hunted in South Africa. In Australia it is fully protected, although its numbers are probably still only half those of the historic pre-sealing days. It continues to be vulnerable to disturbance at its breeding sites and suffers some losses as a result of conflict with commercial fishing operations. 

 

Food and Feeding

These seals feed on a variety of bony fish species plus squid and octopus. They are voracious and skilful hunters in the water and are not averse to taking advantage of situations where fish are corralled by nets and fish farms. 
 

Breeding

Australian Fur Seals come ashore each year and form breeding colonies. The adult males come ashore first and establish territories. Females congregate within these areas and are defended by the resident male often with considerable aggression towards the females and other males. Females spend most of the gestation period at sea, coming ashore just before the birth of a single pup between October and December. Females generally mate again 6-10 days later. The pup population suffers a high mortality rate in those first two months of life especially when the mothers are away at sea feeding. Pups are weaned at four to six months old but may still remain with the mother for a further six months or more.
 

Upcoming Seal Diving Opportunities

  Dive Start Date Price  
Martin Island - Seals Saturday 21 Sep 2019 AU$ 120.00

  • Start Date: Sat 21 Sep 2019 at 09:00
  • Our Price: AU$ 120.00

Arrive at Abyss dive centre no later than 2 hours before collecting your gear. Jump in your car and head straight to Port Kembla, no time for food stop offs, you will get a light lunch on board. The boat will Depart at the scheduled time, no later from Foreshore road, Port Kembla. Get ready for some fun and don't forget your camera. Note: transport to Port Kembla is not included in this trip and is your responsibility to organize.

Request More Info

Single Seals Dive Saturday 21 Sep 2019 AU$ 99.00

  • Start Date: Sat 21 Sep 2019 at 12:00
  • Our Price: AU$ 99.00

Arrive at Abyss no later than 2 hourse before departue time to collect your gear. Jump in your car and head straight to Port Kembla to get in your dive gear, no time for breakfast stop offs. The boat will Depart on time, no later from Foreshore road, Port Kembla for your single dive. Get ready for some fun and dont forget your camera!!

Request More Info

Martin Island - Seals Sunday 22 Sep 2019 AU$ 120.00

  • Start Date: Sun 22 Sep 2019 at 09:00
  • Our Price: AU$ 120.00

Arrive at Abyss dive centre no later than 2 hours before collecting your gear. Jump in your car and head straight to Port Kembla, no time for food stop offs, you will get a light lunch on board. The boat will Depart at the scheduled time, no later from Foreshore road, Port Kembla. Get ready for some fun and don't forget your camera. Note: transport to Port Kembla is not included in this trip and is your responsibility to organize.

Request More Info

Martin Island - Seals Sunday 22 Sep 2019 AU$ 120.00

  • Start Date: Sun 22 Sep 2019 at 12:30
  • Our Price: AU$ 120.00

Arrive at Abyss dive centre no later than 2 hours before collecting your gear. Jump in your car and head straight to Port Kembla, no time for food stop offs, you will get a light lunch on board. The boat will Depart at the scheduled time, no later from Foreshore road, Port Kembla. Get ready for some fun and don't forget your camera. Note: transport to Port Kembla is not included in this trip and is your responsibility to organize.

Request More Info

Martin Island - Seals Friday 27 Sep 2019 AU$ 120.00

  • Start Date: Fri 27 Sep 2019 at 10:00
  • Our Price: AU$ 120.00

Arrive at Abyss dive centre no later than 2 hours before collecting your gear. Jump in your car and head straight to Port Kembla, no time for food stop offs, you will get a light lunch on board. The boat will Depart at the scheduled time, no later from Foreshore road, Port Kembla. Get ready for some fun and don't forget your camera. Note: transport to Port Kembla is not included in this trip and is your responsibility to organize.

Request More Info

Martin Island - Seals Saturday 28 Sep 2019 AU$ 120.00

  • Start Date: Sat 28 Sep 2019 at 09:00
  • Our Price: AU$ 120.00

Arrive at Abyss dive centre no later than 2 hours before collecting your gear. Jump in your car and head straight to Port Kembla, no time for food stop offs, you will get a light lunch on board. The boat will Depart at the scheduled time, no later from Foreshore road, Port Kembla. Get ready for some fun and don't forget your camera. Note: transport to Port Kembla is not included in this trip and is your responsibility to organize.

Request More Info

Single Seals Dive Saturday 28 Sep 2019 AU$ 99.00

  • Start Date: Sat 28 Sep 2019 at 12:00
  • Our Price: AU$ 99.00

Arrive at Abyss no later than 2 hourse before departue time to collect your gear. Jump in your car and head straight to Port Kembla to get in your dive gear, no time for breakfast stop offs. The boat will Depart on time, no later from Foreshore road, Port Kembla for your single dive. Get ready for some fun and dont forget your camera!!

Request More Info

Martin Island - Seals Sunday 29 Sep 2019 AU$ 120.00

  • Start Date: Sun 29 Sep 2019 at 09:00
  • Our Price: AU$ 120.00

Arrive at Abyss dive centre no later than 2 hours before collecting your gear. Jump in your car and head straight to Port Kembla, no time for food stop offs, you will get a light lunch on board. The boat will Depart at the scheduled time, no later from Foreshore road, Port Kembla. Get ready for some fun and don't forget your camera. Note: transport to Port Kembla is not included in this trip and is your responsibility to organize.

Request More Info

Martin Island - Seals Sunday 29 Sep 2019 AU$ 120.00

  • Start Date: Sun 29 Sep 2019 at 12:30
  • Our Price: AU$ 120.00

Arrive at Abyss dive centre no later than 2 hours before collecting your gear. Jump in your car and head straight to Port Kembla, no time for food stop offs, you will get a light lunch on board. The boat will Depart at the scheduled time, no later from Foreshore road, Port Kembla. Get ready for some fun and don't forget your camera. Note: transport to Port Kembla is not included in this trip and is your responsibility to organize.

Request More Info

Martin Island - Seals Friday 04 Oct 2019 AU$ 120.00

  • Start Date: Fri 04 Oct 2019 at 10:00
  • Our Price: AU$ 120.00

Arrive at Abyss dive centre no later than 2 hours before collecting your gear. Jump in your car and head straight to Port Kembla, no time for food stop offs, you will get a light lunch on board. The boat will Depart at the scheduled time, no later from Foreshore road, Port Kembla. Get ready for some fun and don't forget your camera. Note: transport to Port Kembla is not included in this trip and is your responsibility to organize.

Request More Info