Sleek, beautiful seals live in coastal waters, hunting for fish in the sea and returning to land to give birth to their young.

We’ve made tremendous progress in protecting seals from hunters, documenting the brutality of the Canadian seal hunt and persuading many fashion brands and retailers to cease use of their fur and move toward humane alternatives. But the animals are still targeted, and many species are also threatened by habitat loss and the decline in polar ice where they’ve traditionally lived.

Ten-day-old harp seal pup fur starting to turn black, Iles de la Madeleine, Quebec, Canada.
Keren Su
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iStock.com
When hunting underwater for fish, some seals can hold their breath for half an hour.

After leaving water to warm up, seals move around on land or ice using their flippers; their classification (pinnipeds) means “fin-feet.”

Did you know?

Seal milk contains lots and lots of fat, which is why their roly-poly babies can put on multiple pounds a day while they’re nursing.

Young harp seal facing sealing vessels as Canada's seal hunt approaches.
Kathy Milani
Kathy Milani

Each year, the Canadian government authorizes commercial sealers from Atlantic Canada to kill hundreds of thousands of baby seals. Almost all the seals killed are pups under three months old. The world wants the commercial seal slaughter to end.