The Flemish Animal Well-being Minister Ben Weyts opened the first seal pontoon on the Blankenberge coast on Sunday morning. Four animals are already permanently living at the Pleasance Port.
Seals looking for a calm place to dry out often rested on floating debris left behind by dredging work. However this work ended in the summer, which left the animals with no appropriate place to rest.
Residents suggested the idea of a permanent seal pontoon. The Flemish Minister Ben Weyts listened to them. He worked with the Coastal Division and the Blankenberge Sea Life Centre to find a suitable area near old lock gates.
The Blankenberge Sea Life centre has put up information signs for tourists, so they can admire the seals from a distance. It will describe how to recognise a healthy animal, and what to do if you spot a sick animal. The Blankenberge Sea Life centre takes in injured or sick animals to treat them before letting them back out to sea.