Harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) hauled out on ice floe, LeConte Inlet, Southeast Alaska, USA
The harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), a widespread species in both the north Atlantic and Pacific oceans, is found in Alaska along the coast extending from Dixon Entrance north to Kuskokwim Bay and west throughout the Aleutian Islands. Harbor seals, and other phocid (true) seals, also are called “hair” seals, which helps distinguish true seals from fur seals. Harbor seals haul out of the water periodically to rest, give birth, and nurse their pups. In winter seals spend up to 80% of their time in the water. In spring and summer they spend more time hauled out during pupping and moult season. Reefs, sand and gravel beaches, sand and mud bars, and glacial, pan ice, and sea ice are commonly used for haul-out sites. The moulting lines on these seals are clearly visible.