UK Seas

Discover the wonderful sea creatures that inhabit the UK seas and shores

Know the name of the creature you are looking for?

UK seas is a guide to the fauna and flora found around UK coasts. While the majority of species are marine, some species are included that are regularly encountered on land by the coast, so you’ll find descriptions of non-marine species such as reptiles, amphibians, insects and plants as well.

Common seal

Phoca vitulina


Seals, Mammals


The Common seal has finely spotted grey/brown fur, a rounded head with no visible ears, and ‘V’ shaped nostrils help tell it apart from the grey seal. It Seems clumsy on land, but graceful under water.

Actually not so common in the UK as the grey seal, and, worryingly, its numbers are declining.


The Wash hosts 6-7,000 common seals (where it can be seen side-by-side with greys); Shetland, Orkney and Outer Hebrides are also hotspots.


Rocky shore, Sandy beaches, Mudflats

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