The Great Seal Count 2022 – result

A total of 595 seals were seen in the great seal count, which took place for the twelfth time on July, 30th on Vatnsnes. But due to special circumstances, Heggstaðanes was not included that day.

The Icelandic Seal Center would like to thank all the volunteers who took part in the count this year. This year we received e.g. volunteers from Germany, Belgium, England, and a good group from World Wide Friends located in Hrútafjörður (

The Great Seal Count in Iceland 2022

Volunteers Needed at the Icelandic Seal Center
Come join us for our annual Great Seal Count at the Icelandic Seal Center. We need groups of volunteers to count seals along the coastline of the Vatnsnes Peninsula.

Saturday, July 30 at 13.30, the Great Seal Count will be held by the Icelandic Seal Center in Hvammstangi. We encourage everyone to participate, whether you are a local, landowner, or tourist on your trip around the country. Participation gives people the opportunity to see harbor seals in their natural environment.

Program for the counting day:

At 13:00 is the delivery of data, presentation, and training at the Seal Center. Coffee and drinks are available for participants.

At 15.00-19.00, the seal count takes place.
When you are finished, register data online or submit of the data inbox at the Icelandic Seal Center.

Information for field participants

  • It is important to count only seals that are “inside” your area so that each seal is only counted once
  • You write down the all seals you can see, whether they are on land or at sea, also write down the time!
  • REMEMBER! Not all of you will see seals, but is important to us to know where the seals are and how many. So even if you do not see a seal, that´s very important information to us.
  • Please walk carefully and do not make noise since that may scare the seals away before you can count them! For same reason, please do not bring a dog
  • Close all gates, respect the animals in the area and do not walk over cultivated land (crops)


This is a wonderful opportunity to volunteer with the Icelandic Seal Center.  We are dedicated to developing sustainable wildlife tourism and research and education on the status of the seal populations of Iceland.  We rely on volunteers like you to help us with our research. The seal count aims to support further research by gaining knowledge of the number of seals in these areas and continuing to develop sustainable tourism in wildlife viewing.

The counting consists of counting seals in Vatnsnes and Heggstaðanes, but the area will be divided into many different areas (about 2-7km long) and everyone should find a distance that suits them. The large seal count is a fun experience and it is well worth coming and participating in the center’s research work. Before you head out on the peninsula, there will be a short presentation about the Great Seal Count along with information about the research at 13.00.

Do you have a passion for marine wildlife? If yes, volunteer 🙂

For volunteer registration, click here


Here is a link to general information about the seal count from 2007-2021 on Wikipedia. https://Selatalningin_mikla

Good attendance so far this year – over 6 thousand visitors already


The Icelandic Seal Center has been well attended so far this summer and the new exhibition Rostungurinn (Walrus) has attracted a lot of attention.

Creating memories at the Icelandic Seal Center 😎🦭💙

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#selasetur #sealcenter #selaslod #thesealcircle #northiceland #visithunathing #arcticcoastway #nordurstrandaleid

Icelandic Seal Center Research Symposium

The symposium will take place at the Icelandic Seal Center museum next Friday, 24th of June 16:00-20:00.

You are most welcome

The aim of this symposium is to present ongoing research at the center, as well as getting to know scientists and students that have different connections to the Icelandic Seal center (ISC). In the first session, Páll Línberg, manager of the ISC will give a presentation about the structure and background of the center. Research department heads, Sandra M. Granquist (Seal Research department) and Jessica Aquino (Tourism Research department) will also give overviews of ongoing research in the different departments. In Sessions 2 and 3, researchers associated with ISC and students who are working on master theses or doing internships at the ISC will present research they do in cooperation with ISC and/or projects they have worked on in the past.

View abstracts here.

Resident Survey in Húnaþing vestra

Sarah Walter, a summer student at the Icelandic Seal Center, is conducting a population survey as part of her internship in collaboration with Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

Through this survey, we would like to learn more about how the community of Húnaþing vestra (HV) feels about tourism development in the area and what tourism products they would like to see in the future.

It will take approximately ten minutes to complete this questionnaire. Your participation in this study is completely voluntary but all help is very much appreciated. Your information will be anonymous.

Click here to participate in the English – note, this is only for residents living in the Húnaþingi vestra.

Thank you very much for your time and support
Sarah Walter

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