The red whelk is a predator snail of colder seas, found particularly in the northern parts of the North Sea. The color and shape of the shell of the red whelk can vary greatly and is often confused for a whelk. Empty red whelk shells are fairly uncommon on the Wadden Islands; they are even less common further south. Fossil shells are sometimes found. Just like the whelk, red whelks are sensitive to pollution and churned up bottom, often caused by fisheries.