Seal deaths in the Åland Islands (Finland)


During the 2012 Baltic Sea Expedition, Oceana divers found a dozen bodies of grey seal pups on the seabed of Bogskär islet, south of the Åland Islands (Finland). The bodies of the animals, a few days old, were encountered about 20 meters from the coast of the islet, between seven and 11 meters depth. In at least one case, a juvenile seal’s body was found together with a dead adult.

Bogskär is an isolated skerry, located 60 kilometers from the nearest coast in the middle of the Baltic Sea, between Finland and Sweden. It is home to a small colony of grey seals, consisting of two dozen individuals.

© OCEANA  / Carlos Suárez © OCEANA  / Carlos Suárez © OCEANA  / Carlos Suárez © OCEANA  / Carlos Suárez

After being alerted by Oceana, the coast guard, along with a wildlife manager from the local government, accompanied our team to collect some carcasses in order to study them and determine possible causes of death.