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Conservationists say disturbance is rising dramatically and urge people to keep their distance.
BBC News Online
A report entitled: "Please Do Not Disturb! - issues of seal disturbance in the United Kingdom" has highlighted the impact human activity is having on their populations, the Seal Protection Action Group has reported.
Funded by the group and the Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust for The Seal Alliance, the report documents case studies around the British coast where the protected animals are suffering.
Researchers found evidence seal populations were suffering disturbance from human intrusion, both accidental and deliberate, through recreational activities as well as tourism.
The report warned repeated disturbances could do serious harm to individual animals through stress or serious injury.
Campaigners said they would also like to see more protection of essential habitats for seals.
Our seals are under increasing threat from deliberate killing, climate change, over-fishing, toxic pollution, entanglement in nets, ingestion of plastic and serious injury from collisions with vessels."
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Spotted seals discovered inside a farm shed were released back to the sea.