Grey seals, Halichoerus grypus, of the Dee Estuary and observations on a characteristic skin lesion in British seals



Grey seals on the West Hoyle Bank feed on a variety of fish and have a high incidence of dermal lesions, often associated with emaciation and nematode parasite infection. Corynebacterium phocae has been isolated from an active lesion. The significance of large numbers of seals in the Dee Estuary bearing lesions is discussed and the occurrence of seals with lesions elsewhere in British waters is reviewed. No evidence was found to associate the dermal lesions with any environmental factor and it is probable that lesions develop as a result of infection of minor wounds.