The worldwide population of grey seals is estimated at about 380,000 (Jefferson et al, 2008). The Atlantic population is healthy and growing. This is partly due to the human over-exploitation of an Atlantic shark species which is a predator to the seal. This has enabled the population to grow. However the Baltic seal population is still recovering from hunting in the early 1900s (Jefferson et al, 2008). In the UK, seal populations are monitored by aerial photography and direct counts from boats or the shore (Sea Mammal Research Unit, 2010).
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