The gray seals multiply splendidly in the Wadden Sea of ​​the North Sea and on Helgoland. The number of young animals there has increased by an average of 13 percent over the past five years, as the Wadden Sea Secretariat based in Wilhelmshaven announced on Monday. A group of experts from Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands will count the animals for the 2022/2023 season from the plane. On Helgoland, the offspring were observed from the beaches and with drones.

The offspring of the largest predators in Germany are born from November to January. During this time, the experts discovered more than 2,500 young animals. With a good 1400 newborns, most were spotted in the Dutch Wadden Sea – 15 percent more than in the previous season. Just over 680 young animals were observed on Helgoland, an increase of 12 percent. Only in Lower Saxony did the offspring fall by 9 percent to around 390. According to the research team, this could also be due to the bad weather: Some parts of the area could not therefore be flown over.

A little later – between March and April – the adult gray seals are counted. Here, too, there is a significant increase of 18 percent compared to the previous year. The experts in the region registered more than 10,500 adult gray seals. By far most of the animals live in the Dutch Wadden Sea. The counts revealed more than 7600 gray seals in this region alone.

With a good 1,400 gray seals, Heligoland accounted for 13 percent, followed by Lower Saxony and Hamburg with almost 1,200 animals. More than 170 gray seals were observed in the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea area and 145 in Denmark.