Harbor Seal
(Phoca vitulina)

HABITAT: When harbor seals are not swimming in the bay or ocean, they haul out on shores, sandy beaches, or shallow waters. They need easy access to water, low human disturbances, and proximity to abundant prey.

DIET: Bay harbor seals are primarily bottom feeders, eating a variety of fish and mollusks that live near the ocean floor. The seals in the San Francisco Bay feed primarily on yellowfin goby, white croaker, Pacific staghorn sculpin, and northern anchovy.

PREDATORS: Great white sharks are the primary predators of harbor seals.  

FUN FACT: In San Francisco Bay, many harbor seals are fully or partially reddish in color. This may be caused by an accumulation of trace elements such as iron or selenium in the ocean.


Photo by Clark Anderson