Sixth Form pupils from the Marine Biology Ignite course recently travelled to Chichester Harbour to visit the unique seal colony that has recently been established there.

The visit included a boat trip tour of the colony with marine biologist Beth Pickering, who is studying the seals. Pupils learnt about the seals ecology and behaviour, and the conservation efforts to protect them. The Chichester seal colony is unique as it is the only place in the world where grey seals and harbour seals peacefully live together in a single colony. It is thought that this is because the colony was established when rescued seals of both species were released into the harbour, as a safe and suitable new habitat. As the colony grow researchers want to see how and if the seals interactions change. This will provide new insights into their behaviour and help to inform future conservation efforts.

Our pupils came away with a new appreciation of what marine biology field research can be like and the huge amount of marine biology knowledge still to be explored.