I saw quite a few harbor seals on my recent trip to Alaska. Sadly, I didn’t see much more than cute noses and whiskers!
They were far away and hard to photograph. However, I thought this one was cute in black and white.
Did you know?
According to Alaska Department of Fish and Game, harbor seals swim by moving their hindflippers in a side to side motion to propel their bodies. Their foreflippers act as a rudder. They can swim as fast as 12 miles per hour for short amounts of time but generally swim slower.
- They are able to dive to depths up to 1640 feet
- They can remain submerged for over 20 minutes
- In winter seals spend up to 80% of their time in the water
- Young pups are able to swim almost immediately after birth
- They normally remain with their mothers about one month, after which they are weaned and separate from their mother
- The most common predator of harbor seals is the killer whale
- Harbor seals are vital to traditional/subsistence use for Alaska Natives. Their meat, organs, and oil from their blubber are important parts of the diet of many Alaska Natives. Their hide is used to make many items of clothing and handicrafts. The annual subsistence harvest of harbor seals in Alaska is about 1,500 to 2,900 animals, with fewer seals harvested in recent years.
And I thought this interesting:
- Remain at least 100 yards from marine mammals
- Time spent observing individual(s) should be limited to 30 minutes