People are being urged to stay away from seals that are hanging around a south western Victorian coastal town breakwater boat ramp.
Conservation Regulator acting program manager of regional regulatory operations Josh Terry said his department was aware of two Australian Fur Seals at the Warrnambool Lady Bay boat ramp that had drawn the attention of locals and visitors during the past couple of weeks.
"The seals have been resting in places commonly used by people, like footpaths, but that doesn't mean people can ignore the minimum distances that are in place to keep everyone safe," he said.
"Seals are wild animals, and while they may look cute and docile, they can be unpredictable and cover short distances quickly.
"We want the seals to be able to behave naturally without human interference, so please keep your distance, not only for your safety, but the seal's well-being, too."
Mr Terry said while the seals were healthy and exhibiting natural behaviour by resting on land, some people were getting too close to the animals.
Conservation Regulator officers have installed signage and are patrolling the boat ramp to remind visitors of the minimum distances that apply around seals under the Wildlife (Marine Mammals) Regulations 2009.
Mr Terry said people must remain at least 30 metres clear of seals on land, or five metres from seals on boat ramps or piers.
Dogs are not permitted within 50 metres of a seal on land and should be kept on a lead.
It is also illegal to feed seals.
The offence of feeding a seal carries a $248 on the spot fine and a maximum fine of up to $3304.
Conservation Regulator officers will continue patrolling the area to ensure the seals can rest peacefully and people adhere to minimum distance requirements.
Anyone who witnesses people getting too close to seals can report incidents to the Conservation Regulator on 136 186.