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Master’s degree for student studying seals on green shores | Omroep archipelago

by News Room
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Anne-Joëlle Derksen from Arnhem completed her master’s degree at Wageningen University (WUR) on Wednesday 15 May 2024 for her master’s studies in Tourism, Society and Environment. Her research “Understanding human-seal coexistence on green beaches: a case study from De Kwade Hoek Beach, The Netherlands” focused on human-seal interactions on green beaches, specifically De Kwade Hoek Beach.

For two years, Anne-Joëlle researched the management of seals on green beaches, focusing on De Kwade Hoek Beach. Goeree-Overflakkee has two green beaches, namely Beach De Kwade Hoek and Beach Westhoofd. During his research, he collaborated with Geert Faasse, one of the founders of Het Groene Strand in Goeree-Overflake and Kwade Hoek’s nature guide.

Goeree-Overflake’s beaches are intensively used and serve as both seal and human habitat, sometimes resulting in conflicting interests. There are two types of seals, common and gray, which use the beach as a resting place and also leave their pups there until the mother returns.

To help injured or sick seals, seal watchers monitor them in cooperation with A-Seal at Goeree-Overflakkee. These seal keepers create a quiet environment with barriers and signs where the animals are monitored 24 hours a day. A-Seal collects them for further treatment if necessary.

Anne-Joëlle’s research highlights, among other things, the handling of resting seals, protection arrangements, information and monitoring. One of the recommendations of his research is that more attention should be paid to information and enforcement, as people often do not know how to deal with seals on beaches.

It is important to emphasize the importance of keeping your distance and keeping your dog on a leash when encountering a seal. Although seals belong on a beach that people visit, education can help better understand and prevent potential situations. In emergency situations where the seal is in distress, the control room can be contacted at 144.

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