Whelk, Buccinum undatum

Ink on paper

Artist: Julia Churchill-Angus

The common whelk is the largest sea snail found in the UK. You’ll find it on sandy sea beds, where it can lay up to 2000 eggs. It uses the edge of its shell to prise off the shells of its smaller prey. Whelks are currently ‘non-quota’ species, but a recent surge in demand from abroad has increased the volumes being caught in British waters. As a result, there are concerns that whelks may be being fished unsustainably, with calls for stronger management. 

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