Ice Seal Research
Biological Monitoring

Map of seal sampling locations in Alaska

We are working with 7 villages to collect samples from the subsistence ice seal harvest. We collect tissues and measurements from harvested ringed, bearded, spotted, and ribbon seals to evaluate indices of population status and health. We analyze teeth for age; liver, kidney, and blubber for contaminants; stomach contents for diet; body measurements for growth and condition; skin for genetics; and reproductive tracts for productivity. We share tissues with researchers locally, nationally, and internationally for many studies. This project has been funded by Congressional appropriations administered by NOAA/NMFS, the National Science Foundation, and by the North Pacific Research Board.

Man measuring the circumference of a seal
Villagers cleaning an ice seal