Record numbers of seal pups counted this winter in Norfolk

Grey seal pups record number of pups Norfolk - Silver Magazine

The seal pup count has almost doubled since last year, and seal experts say it’s down to healthy fish stocks in the North Sea.

The number of seal pups on the Norfolk coast has almost doubled in three years, according to experts. A total of 3,796 seal pups have been born so far this season. And 1,169 adult seals have been spotted by volunteers.

Seal pup

Seal pup Wensleydale at the SEA LIFE Hunstanton

This is almost double the number since last winter. The record number of pups have been spotted between Waxham and Winterton on the North Sea coast. And nobody is more excited than the SEA LIFE team at Hunstanton.

Nigel Croasdale, General Manager at SEA LIFE Hunstanton, said they believe that the increase in the seal pup population is due to the number of fish in the North Sea increasing.

“A seal is a top predator in the food chain, meaning in the right conditions, their population can thrive. The limiting factors would be disease and food resource. And a growing seal population could well be a good indication of robust fish stocks in the area.”

The SEA LIFE team are keeping a close eye on the beaches. They have a specialist seal hospital at the centre, and their patients are usually pups. Many have been separated from their mother and are lost.

Since opening the Seal Hospital in 1989 they have helped rescue and rehabilitate more than 750 seals.

seal pups being released into the sea at norfolk from hunstanton sea life centre

SEA LIFE Hunstanton seal pups being released

Stay seal-safe

“We always recommend the public keep a good distance from any seals spotted on the beach,” cautions Nigel, “as it could be a mother nursing a new-born pup, or a pup that is awaiting its mother’s return from a quick swim in the sea.

“The adult seal can be easily scared away from her pup resulting in abandonment. We advise to enjoy and observe these animals from a distance.”

Visit SEA LIFE Hunstanton

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