Seal numbers have gone up from last year, but are still below the yearly average.
Vísir reports that 580 seals were spotted along a 100km stretch of beach, from Vatnsnes to Heggstaðarnes in northwest Iceland, on July 21.
The seal census is the work of The Icelandic Seal Centre, which recruited 57 volunteers – both Icelanders and foreigners alike – to take part in the count.
While the numbers are certainly encouraging, marking a reversal of the downward trend reported on last year, these numbers are still below the yearly average for the past 10 years, which is 760. The count was also confined to just this one stretch of the Icelandic shore. Seals can be found all over the country (as can be seen in the above photo, taken at Jökulsárlón, in the southeast).
While seals are an uncommon sight at best in the capital area, it is not unusual to spot them in the waters off of Iceland’s northwest coast. The Seal Centre in fact identifies nine species of seal that one can find around Iceland, including the walrus. Only two species – the grey seal and the harbour seal – are native to Iceland.