New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri) forage mostly in open waters at night and spend parts of the day in coastal sheltered sites, where they may play, rest and eliminate wastes. We recorded the purple wrasse (Notolabrus fucicola) feeding on faeces and vomits of these pinnipeds at Fortescue Bay in the Tasman Peninsula, Australia. This behaviour allows the wrasse to get nutrients from open waters that otherwise would not be available. Thus, it is suggested that the fur seals have the role of transferring nutrients from open waters to inshore reefs and provide them as particulate food to fish. This functional role is apparently recorded for only one species of marine mammal so far, the spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris), in tropical oceanic waters.