The data collected is invaluable because the world population of around 300,000 grey seals, it’s estimated more than forty per cent live around UK shores. The weekly numbers we record during the breeding season are an important indicator whether our seal population is stable, increasing or declining.
During the breeding season the eleven members of our seal count team compile a weekly report. The count takes place on two days in a week between the beginning of November and the end of January. They start at sunrise and record the number of seals and pups between each groyne from Waxham to Winterton using clickers.
The data collected is sent to the Sea Mammal Research Unit at St Andrews University who use it in many aspects of marine studies including population trends, the health of fish stocks, the cleanliness of the sea and identifying the sources of pollutants. FoHS also uses the numbers to update our FoHS noticeboards at both sites. They’re useful to us because they let us to compare the year-on-year changes in the population coming ashore.