An angler en route to a fishing expedition last week spotted nearly two dozen seals resting on an island in the Barnegat Bay.
Paul Haertel of Clifton, who posted the above video on YouTube, says he spotted the seals on “Seal Island” within the Sedge Islands network off Island Beach State Park.
“This is the most seals I’ve ever seen. It’s pretty cool,” he says in the video.
Seals are common visitors to the Jersey Shore during the winter, according to National Park Service.
“Seals have a thick blubber layer which, combined with a fur coat, protects them in frigid climates,” the service notes, adding that they “spend most of their lives in the water but come on land to give birth, raise their young and to molt.”
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center urges the public to avoid approaching marine mammals.
“Please remember that if you see a stranded or injured marine mammal, it is a federal offense to get within 50 feet of the animal. Please stay away from the animal and notify the MMSC right away,” an organization representative advised.