The Extinction of Grey Seals

Can we stop it?

About the Grey Seals

The males generally weigh around 370 - 683 pounds and 2.3 meters (about 8 feet) in length. Where as the females are 231 - 410 pounds and are 2 meters (about 7 feet) in length. A grey seal can live up to 45 years, the females living longer than the males. The scientific name for these seals is Halichoerus grypus, which means "hooked-nosed sea pig" in Latin, given because the males hook- like nose. The grey seals can actually vocalize, or communicate, above and under water. Their call sounds like a "howling-like sea-song" as one could put it and can be heard by not one, but several other seals! The grey seals aren't picky about what they eat but can have preferences. They eat eel, crustaceans, squid, and other types of fish. Known for their creamy white fur, these adorable grey seal pups weigh about 30 pounds and are only 2 - 3 feet in length!

What's the Big Deal?

Grey seals have been considered "endangered" for awhile now. The main reasons for this are habitat loss and being hunted for fur and blubber. Their population now is at 22,000, but has only gained up to 1,500 - 2,000 to get to that in the a few centuries! That's not a lot. Other threats to the grey seals are:

  • Marine debris
  • Exposure to any chemical and/or oil
  • Shooting
  • Boat accident (getting hit by boat)

Global warming also has to do with this. Because grey seals mostly stay in water, they depend on ice for their habitats and for others a feeding ground.

How to Help

There are ways to help these seals. Picking up litter can definitely make a difference. They can choke on that stuff. It's also good, if you're a boater, to stay cautious and slow if your near a grey seal area.