NEW! - A seal from Galicia

Harbor Seal Resting and Birthing Areas:
Eastern North Atlantic

[Pacific] [Atlantic - West] [Atlantic - East]

Harbor seals have been hunted extensively throughout the eastern coasts of the North Atlantic, sometimes for food, sometimes for skins, and often to eliminate fishery competition. Nonetheless, the range of the subspecies Phoca vitulina vitulina has remained about the same in recent years except in the southern reaches and in isolated locations such as the Faroe Islands of Denmark, where they were hunted to extinction in the 1880s.

Despite periodic Phoca Distemper Virus epidemics, and Avian Flu outbreaks, the current population of harbor seals remains robust, and many well-informed, experienced European observers and researchers believe that "natural" processes are functioning well enough that the most crucial human input is close monitoring supported by sampling and tracking.

The images are presented here in roughly north to south order, with one photo - where available - from each of the countries where harbor seals are found. Images are still being sought from the Channel Islands. is dedicated to the general well-being of harbor seals and to vigorous enforcement of applicable law for their protection. Alerts will be posted here of documented instances of continued disturbance or threats to harbor seal safety and habitat. Cheers will be posted when new efforts have been made to extend protection.

Updated 1.25.21