Maps: Spotted Seal: Important Habitat Areas

Spotted seal habitat map


The shape for Total Subsistence Use Area is partly made up of Cenaliulriit CRSA data that represents all marine mammals collectively.


spotted seal
Top: Spotted seal. Photo credit: NOAA; Bottom: Seal meat drying—Savoonga. Photo credit: Budd Christman

Central Yup’ik: Issuriq

St. Lawrence Island Yupik: Gazigyaq

Inupiaq: Qasigiaq

Scientific: Phoca largha

Me and my brother were hunting in spring time and we heard growling out here. We got so happy, thought they were walrus. But we went out there and there were hundreds of spotted seals.36 Charlie Seccheus—Elim

In the ice-free summer months, spotted seals are found along the coastlines of the Bering, Beaufort and Chukchi seas. During the fall and winter months they are closely associated with the edge of the drifting pack ice.37  This species is incapable of maintaining breathing holes and must remain in areas where there are openings between floes for breathing and hauling out on the ice surface.38

In summer and fall, spotted seals regularly come ashore in large numbers at several sites along the coast of Bristol Bay and the Bering and Chukchi seas. Some haul out sites may host several thousand seals at a time.39 Spotted seals are also dependent on the sea ice for pupping, which takes place in March or April on floes near the ice front in the Bering Sea.40

Spotted seals prey on cephalopods, shrimp and several species of fish.41 They can dive to depths of over 260 meters (780 feet).42

Other Important Seal Habitats:
Bearded Seal
Ribbon Seal
Ringed Seal
Spotted Seal

Last Updated: 
Tue, 01/12/2016