An unusual friendship is budding on the Halifax wharf between a fisherman from China and a seal pup named Mimi.

Zhigang Long said he started fishing in the harbour after he saw other fishermen on the wharf.

Through a translator, Long recalled the day a seal popped up while he was reeling in a mackerel.

"He gave the seal some fish to eat then the seal and him got familiar with each other and they're friends. It's really rare to see a wild seal in the open ocean and he feels very excited to see the seal," said the translator.

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Mimi has attracted crowds at the Halifax wharf. (CBC)

Long has even trained Mimi to come when it's called.

When he drops a flopping fish on the wharf, Mimi flaps its flippers, struggling to heave its body out of the water and then hops onto a dock.

Long said he'll miss Mimi when he heads back to China later this month.