Newquay Seal IDs : Can you tell who is who?


Newquay Harbour is a popular spot for people to see wild Cornish seals up close and personal. Cornwall Seal Group have been collecting photos of seals here since 2003. This year, local resident Annabelle, has been taking regular photos of the seals she sees in the harbour, enabling a photo ID album of Newquay Harbour Seals to be developed. Six seals have been identified in the harbour on multiple occasions, 3 of which have also been identified at other wild seal haul outs along the north Cornish coast. It is quite likely that these 6 seals are not the only seals that are present in Newquay Harbour, as others are likely to be passing through the area, so your help is needed. Cornwall Seal Group are very keen to receive your photos of the seals you see in the Newquay area. Photos can be emailed to . Please tell us the date and location of the seal, along with the number of seals you have seen and your ideas about which seal/s you think you have seen. In return a member of Cornwall Seal Group will aim get back to you to confirm your identification. It will be even more exciting if you manage to get a photo of one of the other 700 seals that are in our Cornish seal database, but that hasn't been previously identified in Newquay!

NM1 : Superman

This adult male seal has a red triangular patch on his chest a bit like Superman! Identified on the wild seal haul out in west Cornwall every year since 2002, Superman first appeared in Newquay Harbour in 2004. He may be over 15 years old. He hasn’t been recorded in Newquay Harbour yet this year.

NF4 : Trunk aka Orangina

A pretty adult female with lots of white fur patterns, one of which looks an elephant’s trunk! She has only been seen in Newquay Harbour, where she was the first seal to be identified in 2003! She is probably over 10 years old. Mysteriously, Trunk can turn an orange colour, earning her the name of Orangina!

NM2 : EBP ‘Dr Who’

EBP is an adult male seal. He has a dark grey head and lots of white fur on the left side of his neck. In Newquay harbour since 2005, EBP has also been seen at a wild seal haul out in west Cornwall, where he was first identified. He is thought to be around 8 years old. This year he returned to Newquay Harbour in June.

NM5 : vwSplash *

A very active young adult male seal, vwSplash has learned to beg for fish by flipper splashing around boats! Please resist feeding him! Only seen in Newquay Harbour, where he was first seen in 2004 as a 2/3 year old, so he’s now 7 or 8 years old!

NF3 : Smiles

Smiles is a big, old adult female, who could be over 20 years old! She has only been seen in Newquay Harbour! She has lots of white fur patches around her neck & a healed wound on the back of her head. Arriving in April, she tends to grow algae on her back from spending too much time in the calm harbour!

NM6 : Medallion Man

Medallion Man was identified on the west Cornwall haul out in May 2008. He may only be 5 or 6 years old. He was only recently recorded in Newquay Harbour in June 2009, where his clear markings and close encounters make him easy to photograph and ID!


Just to get you started...can you work out which seals are in the photos below that were taken by Annabelle? Answers at the bottom of the page!
Seal 1 (Left) : Seal 2 (Middle) : Cornwall Seal Group leaflet (Right)

If you are lucky enough to visit Newquay Harbour this Summer, please remember to pick up one of our 'Grey Seals in Newquay Harbour' leaflets that are available around the town. If you go out on the sea, please observe the Cornwall Marine Code of Conduct and resist the temptation to feed any of the seals you see! Intelligent creatures, seals soon learn where to find an easy meal and quickly learn to associate boats with food. This creates problems for boat owners and seals. To break the link in seals’ minds of boats and food, please don’t feed seals.

Many thanks to Annabelle for all her hard work taking photos of seals in Newquay and then emailing them to Cornwall Seal Group for identification.

Answers : Seal 1 is NM6 Medallion Man : Seal 2 is MF4 Trunk aka Orangina!

*Photos of Splash by Annabelle Lowe

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