Industrial Teesmouth harbour seal population continues to rise

Teesmouth’s harbour seal population has grown yet again this year with the birth of 18 pups, bringing the total number that call the river Tees home up to one hundred.


01 August 2014

Harbour seals

The seal population has seen remarkable growth over the past 30 years and is testament to the efforts of industry, regulators, conservationists and The Crown Estate working together to clean up the River Tees.

Set amongst industrial towers and chemical factories, Seal Sands at first seems an unlikely setting for an environmental and conservation success story.  However, Teesmouth is the only known estuary in north-west Europe where seals have re-colonised an industrialised estuary as a direct result of environmental improvements.

Both The Crown Estate, who have committed £25,000 from our marine stewardship fund to monitor the pupping season, and the Industry Nature Conservation Association (INCA) are delighted that their efforts are continuing to encourage sustainable population growth.

Gary Thompson, Coastal Manager said: “We would like to congratulate Teesmouth based industries, many of whom are tenants of The Crown Estate, for their commitment to environmental improvement and conservation. The re-emergence of the harbour seals is a shining example of how industry and nature can thrive side by side.”

Bob Pailor, Director at INCA said: “After last year’s record season we are delighted the harbour seal population at Seal Sands continues to grow.  This demonstrates that the River Tees is in good health and that environmental improvements are having a positive impact on wildlife.”