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Seals of the River Blackwater

Seals of the River Blackwater

Establishing the population and behaviour of our harbour and grey seals

The River Blackwater is home to a wide diversity of marine species, including Grey Seals and the Harbour Seal. For many decades our foreshores have been graced by their presence but there has been little documented over recent years to understand their current numbers and their behaviour preferences.

We (the Marine Education and Research Institute – MERI) will be working alongside the MDC (Maldon District Council) and ZSL (Zoological Society of London) to change that. We have been spending time surveying the River Blackwater looking for these animals and recording their behaviour, abundance and distribution.

Over the next few years, I will be surveying and monitoring the seals along the River Blackwater and will provide regular updates on findings, including their behaviour, numbers seen and their distribution.

Throughout the months of December and January there have been seals sighted on a regular basis, not far from the Maylandsea Coastal paths. With numbers reaching up to 15 individuals, these local seals haul out to rest during low tide. These seals are not too far away and can be enjoyed from a distance, however we do ask that they are enjoyed from a distance. The seals are quite shy animals and they are easily disturbed, any signs of noise of approach and they will disappear to safer shore.

We hope by everyone working together we can all protect and enjoy these beautiful animals. If you would like to be involved or gain more information please email:

If you see a marine mammal that appears to be in distress, hurt or injured please contact your local marine mammal medic, Jacqui Monk on 07952 416555.

Keep a look out for our next article on the interactions and feeding patterns of our River Blackwater Seals.

– Jacqui Monk –


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