SeaSeal Volunteer (69 views)

New Quay, West Wales
November 14, 2018

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales is looking for dedicated and enthusiastic individuals to join our ShoreFin volunteer team based at the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (CBMWC). 

SeaSeal is our dedicated land-based, Atlantic grey seal photo-ID project. The aim of the project is to create a catalogue of individual grey seals in Cardigan Bay to discover more about their travelling habitats and areas that are important to them.


The Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre is the Living Seas wing of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. Since 1996 we have been dedicated to raising awareness of the local marine environment through research and education. Using land and boat based surveys, photo-identification and acoustic studies we collect data on marine megafauna, focusing on bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoises and Atlantic grey seals in the Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the wider Irish Sea. We operate a busy visitor centre and also provide marine educational activities for families, school and groups.

What You Will Gain

Undertaking the SeaSeal project is a unique opportunity for you to carry out marine mammal research and contribute to conservation. You’ll learn about the Atlantic grey seals of Cardigan Bay and gain experience in field work, wildlife photography, photo-ID, data entry, report writing and much more. This role can be a stepping stone to a career in marine research or conservation.

Past volunteers have gone on to further education, work as Marine Mammal Observers and work for other conservation or governmental organisations.

The Volunteering Role

The SeaSeal volunteer will assist with our Living Seas research focused on the Atlantic grey seals of Cardigan Bay. Volunteer responsibilities include (but not limited too) –

  • Conducting land based seal surveys (weather dependant)
  • Photographing seals and other marine mammals
  • Assisting with the annual seal pup survey (During October)
  • Conducting photo ID – sorting/matching images
  • Analysing data and writing the SeaSeal report
  • Providing updates for our social media
  • Reporting back to the Living Seas Staff
  • You may also assist with other areas of our work including land and boat based surveys, manning our visitor centre and community engagement activities

Volunteer Skills/Qualities

  • Experience with DSLR cameras and wildlife photography
  • Previous experience of photo-ID
  • ICT skills, including MS Office and GIS
  • Experience of data analysis and report writing
  • A mature and responsible attitude
  • Proactive with the ability to work independently and unsupervised
  • Flexible approach to work as you will volunteer outside of normal office hours
  • An interest and knowledge of British marine mammals (desirable)
  • A background in biology/marine biology (desirable)

Volunteer Dates 2019

We are looking for a SeaSeal volunteer for the period of 25th March – 5th July 2019 and another volunteer for the period 1st July – 4th November 2019. Priority will be given to those that can volunteer for the full research season from 25th March – 4th November 2019.