The data and resulting data products (tables, figures and maps) available on the indicator web page can be used freely given that the source is cited. The indicator should be cited as following:
HELCOM (2018) Population trends and abundance of seals. HELCOM core indicator report. Online. [Date Viewed], [Web link].
Result: Population trends and abundance of seals – Ringed seal
Data: Population trends and abundance of seals – Ringed seal
Result: Population trends and abundance of seals – Grey seal
Data: Population trends and abundance of seals – Grey seal
Result: Population trends and abundance of seals – Harbour seal
Data: Population trends and abundance of seals – Harbour seal
The national survey data is compiled annually by the HELCOM Seal Expert Group. A regional database was developed within BALSAM project and has been hosted by the HELCOM Secretariat since 2015. This database will be further developed to also enable evaluation of the Distribution of Baltic seals indicator. This new database will be harmonized with the OSPAR reporting format as a part of tasks given in the Baltic BOOST WP 1.2 by the end of 2016.
This new database will include detailed spatial information and is to be updated annually prior to HELCOM seal expert meetings. The database will be managed by the HELCOM Secretariat having responsibility for updating and storing data provided by the HELCOM Seal Expert Group.
Status assessments are to be accomplished by the Lead and co-Lead countries. The outcome of such assessments will be presented and discussed at the next HELCOM Seal Expert Group meeting.
The first compilations for the database have been completed and an intermediate version of the seal database can be accessed and downloaded as excel file. During 2015-2016 work will continue to operationalize the database, e.g. including further parameters and metadata.
The data collected and used in the indicator are based on national aerial surveys. The survey methodology is described in Galatius et al. (2014). This data covers only haul-out sites and not areas used e.g. as hunting grounds.