The German "seal hunter"
In 1974, seal hunting ended in Schleswig-Holstein. The harbour seal is still subject to the hunting legislation, but it is protected throughout the year. In Schleswig-Holstein, the so-called „seal hunters“ are the only authorized persons entitled to recover abandoned pups and hand them over to the Seal Centre Friedrichskoog. Seal hunters are federally authorized gamekeepers with further training put in place by the state of Schleswig-Holstein. Seal hunters act according to a strict set of criteria. If an abandoned pup is reported, the seal hunters decide on the way forward. Each case is examined carefully on site to ensure that no young seal gets unnecessarily in rehabilitation.
Other tasks of the seal hunters, besides taking care of abandoned pups and injured harbour and grey seals are also the salvage of dead marine mammals, the implementation of inspection trips, and information and awareness training of the public.