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BB3 - Grey seal pup production (M5)

FieldDescriptionValidated Entry
[Table title]Name of monitoring programmeGrey seal pup production (M5)
[ProgrammeDescription]Description of the monitoring programmeGrey seals gather to breed at long-established colonies located on islands, sand banks and mainland coastlines around Europe. As higher predators, seals can be used as an indicator to reflect the state of the marine ecosystem. Grey seal pup production is influenced by many factors such as disease, competition with other species, changes in the distribution and abundance of prey, disturbance, and interactions with fisheries. Grey seals were hunted into the 20th Century, and as a result have disappeared entirely from some areas, but are now protected in most areas of Europe. Seals have been hunted both illegally and legally for a long time and it is not possible to know the undisturbed state, nor the current carrying capacity that could be attained alongside protection from illegal hunting. Except for hunting, no straightforward link has yet been identified between pup production and human activity, although several human activities may, at least in part drive, change in pup production. If changes are detected, this signals the need to investigate the cause and to determine whether management measures are required.
Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) pups are counted at major breeding sites (‘colonies’) usually using aerial photography survey methods; where these are not possible, ground counts or boat-based counts may be used instead. Multiple counts per colony are generated, spread across the breeding season (September to February, depending on colony location).Most Contracting Parties count pups several times during the pupping season and the maximum count is taken as a minimum estimate of ‘pup production’, that is, the total number of pups produced over the season as a whole. The maximum pup count will always under-estimate pup production because pups are born and leave the colony at different times. In the United Kingdom, pup counts are converted to total pup production at each colony. This is carried out using an established statistical model that describes how the number of pups at the site varies over the season. Both types of estimate (i.e. maximum count and modelled pup production) are used in the M5 indicator assessment. Colony survey frequency varies by ‘Assessment Unit’ (AU) and ranges from annual to about five-yearly.
[OtherPoliciesConventions]Monitoring for other Union legislation or international agreements that contributes to the programme.OSP-CEMP
[Contracting Parties monitoring]

Which other countries are involved in practical implementation of this monitoring programme, and what is the degree of cooperation.

Agreed data collection methods
[Contracting Parties supplying data]  
[Contracting Parties with an "opt out"]  
[Temporal scope]Start (and end) date of the programme.1960 - 9999
[Spatial scope]Spatial coverage of the programme according to the jurisdictional zones of marine waters.Terrestrial part of MS
[Aggregation of Data]At which scale can the data from the sub-programme be aggregated for environmental assessments?Sub-region
[MarineReportingUnit]Area(s) where the programme takes place.marineSubregion

[Monitoring Purpose]

Purpose of the programme aimed at collecting data and information.Environmental state and impacts
[MonitoringType]Type of monitoring (in-situ, remote sensing, etc.).In-situ sampling land/beach
In-situ sampling coastal
Remote flight imagery’ (orthoimages)
[Indicator Metric]Feature(s) monitored (ecosystem components, pressures, activities).MamSeals
[Elements]Element(s) monitored (e.g. species, habitats, contaminants).Halichoerus grypus
[Element Monitored] Marine Mammals: Seals; Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus)
[Parameter Measured]Parameter(s) monitored.DIST-P
[Monitoring Guidelines/Monitoring Method in place]Guidelines/protocols describing the method for monitoring.OTH
[MonitoringMethodOther]Guidelines/protocols describing the method for monitoring.National guidelines; each CP should have their own guidelines in place
[Quality Assurance Procedures in Place]In addition to a specified method, is there any additional Quality Assurance used?National standards; each CP should have their own QA process
[Quality Control]What type of Quality Control is used?Other QC; each CP should have their own QC process
[Data submission Frequency (and deadline)]Frequency of the monitoringOther (Colony survey frequency varies by Assessment Unit and ranges from annually to approximately every 5 years.)
[Applicable MSFD GES Criteria]Indicator(s) to which the programme contributes.D1C3
[Data Depository]Link to where monitoring data can be accessed (Art. 19(3) 
[Data Custodian] ICES
[Assessment Guidelines]
[Assessment tools available]  
[Nature of data] Unprocessed Data
BB3 - Grey seal pup production (M5)