Alaska Harbor Seal

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.

In addition:

  • 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:

Viewing Recommendations:

  • Remain at least 100 yards from marine mammals
  • Time spent observing individual(s) should be limited to 30 minutes

20 Comments Add yours

  1. Mike Ross says:

    If you get the focus and the light right its debatable how much better a RAW file would be.That’s why people use tripods.

    Cute little guy, its hard to believe people club them. Have a great night! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mike!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeff Flesch says:

    That pic is lovely, as is the accompanying educational information. I had no idea they could dive that deep. That’s amazing! Great post, Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jeff! I like to provide a little education now and then 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jeff Flesch says:

        You’re welcome, Lisa! Always. We appreciate it. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Toonsarah says:

    Yes, he’s very cute 🙂 I didn’t know it was recommended not to spend more than 30 minutes observing an individual animal, but it seems that could be good advice for ALL species, not just marine?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if it’s to help make sure not too many boats or people hang around in their space. I just thought that was interesting! …I doubt anyone else knows about that guideline!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Naomi says:

    You got a great picture of that cute, whiskery face. Interesting info, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, thank you!


    1. Thank you, Donna! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Eugenia says:

    Great shot of that cute face and thank you for sharing the educational information.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Eugenia! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Eugenia says:

        You’re welcome, Lisa!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Tina Schell says:

    Like you we loved our Alaska adventure Lisa. Your little harbor seal is adorable and B&W was an excellent choice. I did NOT know about the 30 minute recommendation although in hindsight we didn’t linger in any one place very long so maybe our small-boat captain DID know!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tina! I do think we want to respect distance with nature. But let me tell you, getting any decent photo of something close, on a bobbing boat, proved most difficult for me! 😊


  7. Amy says:

    Lovely image, Lisa! Thank you for sharing these facts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awwww, you are welcome, Amy! 😊


  8. Pepper says:

    So cute! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh if the darn boat would sit still, there were so many cute bobbing heads out there! …thank you! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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