Woman taken to hospital after being bitten by seal in Port Fairy

A woman has been taken to hospital after being bitten by a seal in Port Fairy.

Port Fairy police confirmed a woman was bitten on the leg on Saturday afternoon.

Sergeant Jason Puschenjak said about 5pm a 68-year-old female was at the boat ramp.

"She was attacked and bitten by a seal," Sergeant Puschenjack said.

"It has taken some flesh from her leg above the knee. She was conveyed to Warrnambool Base Hospital."

An Ambulance Victoria officer runs away from a seal at Port Fairy on Saturday afternoon.

An Ambulance Victoria officer runs away from a seal at Port Fairy on Saturday afternoon.

Footage shot by Will Symons shows an Ambulance Victoria officer running away from an aggressive seal at the boat ramp.

The attack comes after a warning from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) in early March not to approach or feed seals, following reports of a seal harassing people at Port Fairy.

A reader contacted The Standard to share this video of the seal.

He said he shot the footage only moments before the woman was attacked. 

DELWP said the large male Australian Fur Seal was the latest seal to pose a public safety issue along the south-west coastline.

The authority said the seal had developed a dependence on humans after repeatedly feeding on the fish scraps discarded by anglers.

DELWP Barwon South West senior forest and wildlife officer Ian Westhorpe said the seal was residing around the Port Fairy boat ramp on Battery Lane.

"There have been a number of instances where the seal has aggressively approached anglers as they unload their catch from boats," Mr Westhorpe said.

"The seal, which is estimated to weigh around 100 kilograms, has also grabbed fish from anglers on the jetty.

"These mammals have sharp teeth and can move quickly, which means they have the potential to inflict serious injury on humans and pets.

"This is a prime example of how wild seals can become dependent on humans and lose the ability to hunt for their own food.

"It is illegal for people to feed seals along our coastline, and fines can be issued to people if they are found to be doing this.

"Don't approach or feed the seals, and ensure dogs are kept on a lead at a 50-metre distance at all times.

"Feeding seals leads to them losing their fear of humans, which puts them at risk of being struck by moving vessels or becoming entangled in fishing line and hooks."

Under the Wildlife (Marine Mammals) Regulations 2009, the offence of feeding a seal carries a $242 on the spot fine, and a maximum fine of up to $3223.80.