During our trip to see pelagic birds off Cape Point we followed a long line fishing vessel fishing for kingklip. The birds follow the vessels to collect the by-catch. You can see the scrum in this picture.
Sometimes the birds get caught too. See the nylon in the birds beak? There is most likely a hook attached.
Seals also follow the boats and collect escapees and by catch
Here is a seal tucking into a kingklip dinner.
The problem is that seals get a bit enthusiastic about collecting the by catch and escapees. To discourage the seals the fishermen lure them in then gaf them. Don’t believe me? Check out the following sequence.
And haul him in.
A little higher perhaps?
The food the seal was scoring was the heads that were being tossed off the boat by the fishermen. We watched as the heads were carefully collected around the stern of the boat. A pointless bit of cruelty, but then I am not a fisherman.
Dunno you decide.