12 Facts About Harbor Seals

Group of Seals on the beach


 Harbor seals are so common in our area that they’re often overlooked by locals.  It isn’t until we hear and see visitors get excited about these mammals that we really stop and think about how amazing they are.  Here are some facts about these creatures that you may not know:

1. Their hearing is 14x better while underwater than a human’s

2. What can you do for 25 minutes straight?  That’s the average length of time that they can hold their breath underwater!

3. The deepest recorded dive was 300m

4. Harbor seals eat an average of 3-5kg of food (crustaceans, mollusks, squid, and fish) per day

5. During late spring or early summer, the males pick a few different females to mate with

6. In an aerial survey, over 127,000 harbor seals were counted in BC

7. Mating happens underwater but pups are born on land

8. Harbor seals are the smallest but most common seal 

9. Their food is torn into chunks and swallowed whole

10. The ocean tidal cycles determine when the pups are nursed

11. Their eyes are protected by “oil tears” which allows them to be able to see underwater

12. While a little bit of travelling does occur, harbor seals generally stay in one location throughout their lives


 Written by:  Brianna England