Scientific research is of great importance to the protection of seals. To be able to rehabilitate seals in the safest and best possible way, scientific research and specialised expertise is vital. This is why scientific research has been an integral part of the SRRC’s work since the 1980’s. The SRRC’s research involves a wide array of topics and covers multiple disciplines, such as population biology, toxicology, immunology, virology, physiology, ecology en ethology.
Already, six SRRC employees and researchers have obtained their doctoral degree for seal research. Ilona Visser (1993), Rik de Swart (1995), Peter Ross (1995), Timm Harder (1997) and Byron Martina (2003) did research under the supervision of prof. dr. A.D.M.E. Osterhaus, professor of virology at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. Prof. dr. W. van Delden, professor of population-genetics at the State University of Groningen promoted Anique Kappe (1998). Pieter ’t Hart took his doctoral degree in April 2007, for a seventh dissertation titled ‘Seal hunt in the Netherlands, 1591 – 1962.’ It gives an overview of four centuries of seal hunting and the rules, policies and views regarding seals in our waters.The SRRC is a foundation headed by a board. The board is advised by specialists in all possible scientific fields. These specialists provide their knowledge to the SRRC free of charge. The SRRC works with protocols which record the way a SRRC-worker must act during almost all occurring situations. Furthermore, the specialists (especially medical specialists) are always available to help with specific seal problems, for instance, if a seal has swallowed a fishhook.