Week To 10 Day Old Seal Pup Snoozing In The Sunshine DSCN3312 380x270

Sharing our Seas successfully

The UK is home to globally important populations of both grey and common (harbour) seals.

A flourishing seal population is an indicator of a healthy marine ecosystem, which is crucial for our fishing industry to thrive and be successful. In fact, a healthy seal population is essential, as they perform the top predator function working in all weathers, all year round, to keep everything in balance. This creates marine environment resilience – something human activity tends to disrupt, but ironically depends upon. Like fishing profits, seal numbers are limited by fish availability – declining fish stocks result in declining seal populations as well as declining profits for the fishing industry. Seals are important messengers bringing stories about the state of seas to us on land, so we can take action to protect our seas before it is too late.

Grey seals are globally rare animals – our equivalent of an African elephant. If we want people to protect elephants for us to visit on safari, then we need to do the same for UK grey seals. Put another way, despite the UK having over a third of the world’s population of grey seals, there are still more red squirrels than grey seals in Britain.

Grey seals are at risk from cumulative threats including: climate change; toxic pollution, entanglement, plastics and other marine debris, as well as chronic disturbance at important pupping and resting sites. Seals face many growing threats but remain a wonderful natural attraction and so make their own valuable contribution to diversifying local coastal economies.

During the summer, heavily pregnant females need to rest on land and disturbing them can be fatal for their unborn pups. Mums without sufficient fat reserves can’t feed their pups enough in the autumn to ensure their pup’s survival through the winter. Grey pups can be separated from mum if people get too close. For seals up to 18 months old, death rates can be as high as 75% and disturbance makes this worse. This is not good for seals or industries that depend upon the sea.

The good news is, you can help protect your sustainable future, as disturbance is the easiest marine issue to solve. The Seal Alliance has produced nationally agreed, government backed signs and leaflets to raise public awareness about how to act responsibly around seals. The Cornwall Inshore Fishery and Conservation Authority have also created signs to help fishers know about the places where seals are well protected making it an offence to disturb them in three Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in Cornwall – Godrevy to St Agnes, Tintagel to Widemouth Bay SSSIs and the Aire Point to Carrick Du SSSI in West Penwith.

Many thanks for taking the time to read this and helping us to protect seals and our marine environment.

Sue Sayer

Seal Research Trust – Aka Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (Charity number: 1162936)


Related Posts

421877097 772714994890851 3251193306234702112 N

Newquay receives five new benches funded by the Newquay Regeneration Forum Limited

Visitors to Newquay Harbour are benefitting from five new benches funded by the Newquay Regeneration Forum Limited. The forum donated money from the remainder of its community fund shortly before it stopped operating. Kimberley Johnson, Newquay Harbour Master, said: “These benches will encourage members of the community and visitors to enjoy everything that there is

Harbour Overview Penzance

Plans to transform Penzance Harbour and boost marine industry unveiled

Residents, businesses and organisations in Penzance are being invited to view the plans for modernising and increasing the efficiency of the harbour. Hosted by Cornwall Council Harbour team and Penzance Town Deal Board, a drop-in exhibition will be held at the Penzance sailing club on Albert Pier (TR18 2LL) between 1pm and 6pm on Thursday


Penzance Town Deal Sustainable Travel Network Project

As part of Town Deal there are proposals to address the traffic flow within Penzance. The Sustainable Travel Network Project proposals focus on several locations including Market Place and Green Market, the top of Causewayhead, Branwells Gyratory, Coinagehall Street, Market Jew Street, Wharf Road and New Road. As some of these changes will affect the


St Ives Town Deal Low Carbon Transport Strategy – Have your say!

More than 300 people visited the Low Carbon Transport exhibition at  St Ives Library on Monday, 27 November to view the proposals to make St Ives a greener and healthier place to live, work and visit.  A big thank you to everyone who came along to ask questions and give us their opinions on the proposals.

Scroll to Top