Two gray seals

About The Species

Gray seals are part of the "true seal" family, Phocidae. True seals lack external ear flaps and have short forelimbs that result in limited movement on land. Gray seals are sometimes called "horseheads" because of their large snouts.

Gray seals, like all marine mammals, are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

NOAA Fisheries is committed to conserving and protecting gray seals. Our scientists and partners use a variety of innovative techniques to study, learn more about, and protect this species.

Learn more about gray seals

Status

MMPA Protected

throughout its range

Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Carnivora
Family
Phocidae
Genus
Halichoerus
Species
grypus