Harbour Seal (Phoca vitulina)


Seals and Sea lions are collectively called Pinnipeds. Harbour Seals are the most abundant in Iceland and are frequently encountered on Akurey (puffin colony). There has been 7 species of seals recorded in Icelandic waters but only two of these species breed here the Harbour or and Grey Seal. Seals have been hunted since Iceland was first colonised for both fur and the meat.

Length: 1.7 - 1.9 meters
Weight: 60-150 kg
Life expectancy: 25-35 years
Est. population around Iceland: ~ 12,000 animals
Social behaviour: Seen in small numbers
Diet: Fish, cephlapods ( squid, octopus etc.) and crustaceans
Suborder: na
Family: Phocidae
IUCN Listing: Least concern
Major threats: Hunting, entanglement, pollution, climate change, overfishing, viruses
Other Names: Láturselur, Fjordsel, Kystsel, Steinkobbe, Fjordsæl, Spættet sæl, Gemeiner Seehund, Phoque commun, Foca común, Foca-vulgar, Obyknovnnyj [Pjstryj] tjuln.