Project co-financed by the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014

Harbor seal


It is hard to distinguish a male from a female because there is no sexual dimorphism between sexes. The coloration of the body is diverse, from light grey to dark, with small dark spots, but the ventral side is usually lighter than the back. Males grow up to 180 cm with body weight of 130 kg, females on the other hand are smaller – the length of their bodies comes to 150 cm and weight to 105 kg. The harbor seal is smaller than the grey seal, however bigger than the ringed seal. Males are ready to breed at the age of six, and females reach their sexual maturity at the age of 4. Their snout is short, feline, with large, closely mounted eyes and V-shaped nostrils connected in the lower part. You can often notice a brighter border around the eye .  

Seals stay mainly close to sandy or pebbly beaches in shallow waters. Animals are seen mainly in small groups or individually. They are very timid and curious at the same time. They feed mainly on fish and on invertebrates.

Pups are born on the edge of June and early July, on the shore, away from the herd and they already remind adults. Harbor seal mothers are caring – in case of emergency they push the young ones into the water by striking with their fins. Pups are fed on mother's milk for about 4-6 weeks. After this period, they start an independent life, while still remaining for some time under the motherly care.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the harbor seal population was estimated to be about 5000 individuals. The intensive fishery has led to reduction of the population to just 600 individuals today.

Based on information from the Institute of Marine Station of Oceanography on the University of Gdańsk (IMSOUG) and WWF Poland.

Copyright 2014 InfoGIS Projekt
Texts and graphics published on are protected by copyrights. Their use for commercial purposes requires the consent of the authors.

W ramach naszej witryny stosujemy pliki cookies w celu świadczenia Państwu usług na najwyższym poziomie dostosowując serwis do Państwa indywidualnych potrzeb. Korzystanie z witryny bez zmiany ustawień dotyczących cookies oznacza, że będą one zamieszczane w Państwa urządzeniu końcowym. W każdym momencie możecie Państwo dokonać zmiany ustawień dotyczących cookies.Dalsze korzystanie z naszych serwisów internetowych, bez zmiany ustawień przeglądarki internetowej oznacza, iż użytkownik akceptuje naszą politykę prywatności. Więcej szczegółów w zakładce "Polityka cookie"..