Harbor Seal

Habitat and Distribution


Harbor seals are found in temperate, sub-arctic, and arctic waters of the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans



Harbor seals inhabit shallow areas of estuaries, rivers, and places where sandbars and beaches are uncovered at low tide.



Harbor seals do not migrate regularly but will travel in search of feeding grounds.


Scientists estimate that the world harbor seal population currently is between 300,000 and 500,000 seals..

Harbor Seal Distribution & Population

Subspecies Distribution Population
P.v. richardsi eastern Pacific; Pribilof Islands to Baja California, Mexico
120,000 - 150,000
P.v. stejnegeri western Pacific; Bering Sea along the Kuril Islands to Hokkaido, Japan 12,500 - 13,500
 P.v. vitulina  northeastern Atlantic; along the European coast from Finland to Portugal, and the coast of Iceland  68,000 - 100,000
 P.v. concolor western Atlantic; Greenland to the central United States 90,000 - 100,000
 P.v. mellonae Seal Lakes in Canada (Quebec) 100 - 600