A seal was spotted getting its fill of fish off the coast of Brighton and Hove.

Hove resident David Tickner spotted the seal swimming towards the West Pier about 50m from the shore at about 10am yesterday.

Mr Tickner, 50, said he spotted the creature, believed to be a Common Seal, while he was sitting at this dining table at his home in Kingsway, Hove.

He said: “First off I thought it was a dog swimming but I couldn’t see anybody on the beach and I didn’t know whether it was in distress or not.

“I went to get my binoculars and I saw that it was a seal and that it had a fish in its mouth the first couple of times it resurfaced.

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, I’ve never seen seals in Brighton before.”

Stephen Savage, Sussex county recorder for sea mammals, has been monitoring seals along the Sussex coast since 1991.

He said that he had been monitoring the movements of one tagged seal Twinkle which had been spotted between Cuckmere and the River Adur.

He added: “If people do see seals they should keep a safe distance from them.

“They are curious creatures and we have had reports from early morning swimmers who have had a seal brush up against them.

“But you shouldn’t approach them if they are injured or frightened, they could do as much damage as a bear to you.”

Anyone who spots a seal can email stevep.savage@ntlworld.com or call 07773 610036.