Let's Go Eggcase Hunting


  • Check tide times
  • Tell someone where you’re going
  • If possible use a stick to rummage in seaweed to avoid any nasty surprises
  • Take care near the base of cliffs


  • Respect wildlife and habitats by following the Seashore Code and don’t take live animals home with you.

  • As you’re looking in the strandline anyway, why not do a spot of beach cleaning? It goes hand in hand with eggcase hunting!


  • You can usually find eggcases amongst the seaweed that makes up the strandline. They blend in really well which means they can be difficult to spot at first, so keep your eyes peeled.

  • When eggcases dry out they're very light and can get blown to the back of the beach. They also get trapped in grasses on sand dunes. So these are good locations to search.

  • Eggcases will wash up throughout the year. They may have freshly hatched, or been on the seabed for some time before being dislodged.

  • After stormy weather has passed is prime eggcase hunting time. Lots of seaweed and debris will have been washed up on the beach - this is great to search in.

  • Check to make sure it’s definitely an empty eggcase and nothing is inside.

  • If a live embryo is inside, put the eggcase back in the sea or a deep rockpool and try to anchor it down. If it is a skate eggcase try and weigh down the horns, with catshark eggcases try and tie the tendrils around something so it doesn’t wash ashore again.

  • Empty eggcases are not known to have any secondary purpose. They don't break down to form sand or offer habitat as some shells do for hermit crabs. They also don’t decompose to form part of the strandline - we’ve even tried composting them and they don’t break down! If you are certain that the eggcase is empty, it is fine to remove the eggcase from the beach, this will prevent double counting too.


Here are a few methods you can use to conduct your hunt…

  • THE CHANCE FIND - you may be out walking your dog on your local beach, or on holiday with your family, when you discover an eggcase. What a stroke of luck! Take a photo and record your find.

  • SIMPLE SCIENCE - set out on a timed walk, e.g. walk along the strandline for 20 minutes and see how many eggcases you can find in that time.

  • BEACH SURVEY - walk the entire length of the beach, or between two landmarks if it’s a long beach! Look at the upper strandline when walking in one direction then return along the lower strandline, recording as you go.

For more detail on looking for eggcases, including a Search specific video, see our Eggcase Champion Training Guide at sharktrust.org/geh-training


Banner Image: Michaela Strachan & Diane Westwood_Autumnwatch2022_ photo credit Pat Mckeeman