Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina)
This common seal often accompanies our snorkelers on the swim from the beach at the Cove to the La Jolla Sea Caverns or appears unexpectedly while we are snorkeling with our guests. There are five subspecies in other geographic areas of this common seal found on the west coast of North america.
These pinnipeds reach 6 feet in length and weight up to 370 lbs. There is a permanent colony hauling out at Childrens Pool only 500 yards from our colony of Sea Lions at La Jolla Cove. Each harbor seal possesesses a unique pattern of spons. True seals do not have a pinna (ear flap) and have auditory openings behind each eye.
Estimates put the Harbor Seal and its five subspecies population at around 350,00 to 500,000