Marine Mammals

Number of Counted Harbour seals in the Wadden Sea since 1975

Seal Counts by year

Seal epidemic 2002  


Harbour Seal Report 2015
Grey Seal Report 2015/16


View Harbour seal count results for other years:

1999 2000 2001 2002
2003 2004/2005 2006 2007
2008 2009 2010 2011
2012 2013 2014  

View Grey seal count results for other years:

2009 2010 2011 2012
2013 2014 2015  


The thematic report no. 20 on Marine Mammals as part of the Quality Status Report 2009 (QSR 2009) provides an overview of the present status of the populations of the harbour (or common) seal Phoca vitulina, the grey seal Halichoerus grypus, and the harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena in the Wadden Sea, based on the Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Program (TMAP). This status review includes population developments, issues of concern and management approaches.

From the QSR 2009, thematic report 20, Marine Mammals:

Marine mammals regarded as indigenous species in the Wadden Sea are the harbour (or common) seal Phoca vitulina, grey seal Halichoerus grypus, and harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena. Several other marine mammal species, both pinnipeds and cetaceans, occur in the Wadden Sea and adjacent North Sea, either as stragglers or as regular visitors. occasionally five other species of seals are encountered in the Wadden Sea area and adjacent North Sea. These are: harp seal Phoca groenlandica, hooded seal Cystophora cristata, ringed seal Phoca hispida, bearded seal Erignathus barbatus and walrus Odobenus rosmarus , all of which have a more northerly distribution. Cetaceans documented along the Wadden Sea coast are the white beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris, and white sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus acutus. The occurrence (both living and dead) of large cetaceans in the Wadden Sea region since the QSR 2004, notably minke whales Balaenoptera acutorostrata and humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae, is remarkable.

This chapter provides an update of the QSR 2004. Therefore it refers only to deviations from trends set out in the QSR 2004 and new information is provided. Issues of concern are given in the context of the Targets set for the harbour and grey seal, and the harbour porpoise in the Wadden Sea Plan as well as in the Seal Management Plans (SMP 1992, 1996, 2002, and 2007).  [….read more]

Quality Status Report 2009: Thematic Report 20: Marine Mammals (Reijnders et al.)
Quality Status Report 2004: Chapter 13: Marine Mammals (Reijnders et al.)