The International Seal Day

Today is the International Seal Day. It was first held on 22. March 1982 to draw attention to the status of the seal that was overhunted and their population was declining. The U.S. Congress saw a reason to intervene by giving the seal this day. It also took various actions to raise awareness to the importance of protecting the seal.

Seal hunting has been banned in Iceland since 2019, but seals can live for a long time, so it takes time for the population to grow. The Icelandic harbour seal is classified as endangered and Icelandic grey seal is classified as at some risk. It is important to be aware of situation and make sure that the seal population in Iceland reaches the targeted minimum number.

New intern

Please welcome Nicola Mauro, who is doing an internship with us at the Icelandic Seal Center in collaboration with the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute. Nicola is a master student in Biology of organisms and ecology at UCLouvain (Belgium). In his internship, Nicola will be monitoring the abundance of harbour and grey seals with our research team. He will among others look at environmental and anthropogenic factors that might affect the behaviour and spatial distribution of the harbour seal.

Seal watching tutorial video

Most of the visitors the Icelandic Seal Center gets, come from May to September, but we keep ourselves busy during the winter. In addition to being open every weekday 11:00 – 15:00 all winter, we work in accordance with our goals of seal research and sustainable seal watching.

Seal watching is extremely important to our local area, but it must be done responsibly, especially given the fact the Icelandic seal population is endangered. Although the vast majority of those who do seal watching do so responsibly, unfortunately we often hear that we can do better.

It was a great pleasure for us at the Seal Center to two grants from “Uppbyggingarsjóði Norðurlands vestra and „Landsbankinnbank to make an tutorial video on desirable behavior during seal watching. It is a short cartoon with little text making the message very understandable it. The design company Gagarín has already begun working on the design and layout and the film will be ready for the summer.

It will be available to all stakeholders free of charge and hopefully it will spread as widely as possible so that an important step can be taken towards more sustainable seal watching in Iceland.

Many guests in August and summer opening hours all September

We are extremely happy with the number of guests that visited us in August. In total over 6.800 guests came to the information center and the museum. To have many guests buying tickets to the museum or items in our souvenir shop is vital for our work at the Icelandic Seal Center. In accordance with this, we have decided to continue with the summer opening hours of 11:00 – 18:00 until (and including) 1. October.