The phocids

The phocids (seals lacking external ears) family of pinnipeds (ie fin-shaped feet) includes sea lions and walrus.

There are nearly twenty species of phocids around the world (monk seal, elephant seal, Ross seal, crabeater seal, leopard seal, Weddell seal, seal of Siberia, taped seal ...).

In Canada, bearded seals and ringed seals frequent the waters above the outskirts of northern Quebec and are almost exclusively hunted by the Inuit.

Harbor seals are found in the waters of the Atlantic off nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec. The populations have been increasing in recent years.

Hooded seals, migrate between the Arctic Waters and the northern Atlantic and small numbers of them give birth off the Magdelen Islands in the late winter.

Harp or Greenland seals are the most numerous in the Western Atlantic waters. the population is about 10 million animals. They too migrate south in the late winter or early spring and give birth in the waters off Newfoundland and Labrador and the Magdalen Islands.

Grey seals inhabit the waters off Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec throughout the year. In recent years the population has been growing dramatically.