Seal Island

Seal Island is a small elongate rocky land mass about 2 hectare in size with its long axis oriented roughly north-south, measuring approximately 400 by 50 meters. The island is, located about 5.7 kilometers off the northern shore of False Bay, and is so named because of the number of Cape Fur Seals that occupy it. The island rises a mere six meters above the high tide mark, and is off-limits to tourists, falling under the jurisdiction of the Western Cape Nature Conservation.

Seal Island is barren and devoid of any notable surface vegetation or beaches. The only noticeable evidence of humans ever reaching this desolate island is a solar powered light, remnants of a gas powered lighthouse,as well as some rock inscriptions dating back to around 1930.

Human interaction on the island was limited to guano collection and seal harvesting. Guano collection came to an abrupt end in 1949, followed by a collapse in the fur seal product market in the 1980’s, bringing to an end the practice of seal harvesting on the Island.

This has given the resident seal population time to recover to an estimated 60.000 individuals and the island now supports the largest Cape Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus ) colony in the Western Cape.

The growth of in the number of seals in and around the island has attracted an increasing number of Great White Sharks, making Seal Island one of the premier Great White locations in the world