harbor seal is a ubiquitous member of the ocean communities of both
the North Atlantic and Pacific. They are usually seen near shore
where they haul out periodically to rest, give birth, and nurse
their pups, but have been observed as far as 50 miles from land.
They do not make long migrations like many other marine mammals,
but tend to remain in local groups within 150 miles of their birthplaces
throughout their lives, which for males may be 26 years and females
32 years. Harbor seals can dive to 1,500 feet and remain submerged
for up to 40 minutes, and they feed on pollock, Pacific cod, capelin,
eulachon, Pacific herring, salmon, octopus, and squid. They reach
five to six feet in length and weigh up to 300 pounds. Their chief
natural predators are large sharks and killer whales, and also have
been taken incidentally in fishing gear.