1902 Encyclopedia > Seal

Seal




SEAL. In the article MAMMALIA (vol. xv. p. 442) will be found a general account of the distinguishing character-istics of the animals constituting the sub-order Pinnipedia of the order Carnivora, and their divisions into families and genera. It only remains to give some further details respecting those members of the group to which the term " seal" is properly restricted (the sub-family Phocinx), especially those which inhabit the British coasts.
Although seals swim and dive with the greatest ease, often remaining as much as a quarter of an hour or more below the surface, and are dependent for their sustenance entirely on living prey captured in the water, all the species frequently resort to sandy beaches, rocks, or ice-floes, either to sleep or to bask in the sun, and especially for the purpose of bringing forth their young. The latter appears to be the universal habit, and, strange as it may seem, the young seals—of some species at least—take to the water at first very reluctantly, and have actually to be taught to swim by their parents. The number of young produced is usually one annually, though occasionally two. They are at first covered with a coat of very thick, soft, nearly white fur, and until it falls off they do not usually enter the water. This occurs in the Greenland and grey seal when from two to three weeks old, but in the common seal apparently much earlier. One of this species born in the London Zoological Gardens had shed its infantile woolly coat and was swimming and diving about in its pond within three hours after its birth. The movements of the true seals upon the ground or ice are very different from those of the Otarim or eared seals, which walk and run upon all four feet, the body being raised as in the case of ordinary quadrupeds. The hinder limbs (by which mainly they propel themselves through the water) are on land always perfectly passive, stretched backwards, with the soles of the feet applied to each other, and often raised to avoid contact with the ground. Sometimes the fore limbs are equally passive, being placed close to the sides of the body, and motion is then effected by a shuffling or wriggling action produced by the muscles of the trunk. When, however, there is any necessity for a more rapid mode of progression, the animals use the fore paws, either alternately or simultaneously, pressing the palmar surface on the ground and lifting and dragging the body forwards in a succession of short jumps. In this way they manage to move so fast that a man has to step out beyond a walk to keep up with them; but such rapid action costs con-siderable effort, and they very soon become heated and exhausted. These various modes of progression appear to be common to all species as far as has been observed.

Most kinds of seals are gregarious and congregate, especially at the breeding season, in immense herds. Such is the habit of the Greenland seal (Phoca grcenlandica), which resorts in the spring to the ice-floes of the North Sea, around Jan Mayen Island, where about 200,000 are killed annually by the crews of the Scotch, Dutch, and Norwegian sealing vessels. Others, like the common seal of the British islands (Phoca vitulina), though having a

FIG. 1.—Common seal (Phoca vitulina).

wide geographical range, are never met with in such large numbers or far away from land. This species is stationary all the year round, but some have a regular season of migration, moving south in winter and north in summer. They are usually harmless, timid, inoffensive animals, though, being polygamous, the old males often fight des-perately with each other, their skins being frequently found covered with wounds and scars. They are greatly attached to their young, and remarkably docile and easily trained when in captivity ; indeed, although there would seem little in the structure or habits of the seal to fit it by nature to be a companion of man, there is perhaps no wild animal which attaches itself so readily to the person who takes care of and feeds it. They appear to have much curiosity, and it is a very old and apparently well-attested observation that they are strongly attracted by musical sounds. Their sense of smell is very acute, and their voice varies from a harsh bark or grunt to a plaintive bleat. Seals feed chiefly on fish, of which they consume enormous quantities ; some, however, subsist largely on crustaceans, especially species of Gammarus, which swarm in the northern seas, also on molluscs, echinoderms, and even occasionally sea-birds, which they seize when swimming or floating on the water.

Although the true seals do not possess the beautiful under-fur ("seal-skin" of the furriers) which makes the skin of the sea-bears or Otarix so precious, their hides are still sufficiently valuable as articles of commerce, together with the oil yielded by their fat, to subject them to a devastating persecution, by which their numbers are being continually diminished (see below, p. 581 sq.).

Two species of seals only are met with regularly on the British coasts, the common seal and the grey seal. The common seal (Phoca vitulina) is a constant resident in all suitable localities round the Scottish, Irish, and English coasts, from which it has not been driven away by the molestations of man. Although, naturally, the most se-cluded and out-of-the-way spots are selected as their habitual dwelling-places, there are few localities where they

FIG. 2.—Skull of common seal, showing form of teeth.

may not be occasionally met with. Within the writer's knowledge, one was seen not many years ago lying on the shingly beach at so populous a place as Brighton, and another was lately caught in the river Welland, near Stam-ford, 30 miles from the sea. They frequent bays, inlets, and estuaries, and are often seen on sandbanks or mud-flats left dry at low tide, and, unlike some of their con-geners, are not found on the ice-floes of the open sea, nor, though gregarious, are very large numbers ever seen in one spot. The young are produced at the end of May or beginning of June. They feed chiefly on fish, and the destruction they occasion among salmon is well known to Scottish fishermen. The common seal is widely distri-buted, being found not only on the European and American coasts bordering the Atlantic Ocean but also in the North Pacific. It is from 4 to 5 feet in length, and variable in colour, though usually yellowish grey, with irregular spots of dark brown or black above and yellowish white beneath. The grey seal (Halichosrus grypus) is of considerably larger size, the males attaining when fully adult a length of 8 feet from nose to end of hind feet. The form of the skull and the simple characters of the molar teeth distinguish it generically from the common seal. It is of a yellowish grey colour, lighter beneath, and with dark grey spots or blotches, but, like most other seals, is liable to great varia-tions of colour according to age. The grey seal appears to be restricted to the North Atlantic, having been rarely seen on the American coasts, but not farther south than Nova Scotia; it is chiefly met with on the coasts of Ire-land, England, Scotland, Norway and Sweden, including the Baltic and Gulf of Bothnia, and Iceland, though it does not appear to range farther north. It is apparently not migratory, and its favourite breeding places are rocky islands, the young being born in the end of September or beginning of October.

Other species of seals inhabiting the northern seas, of which stragglers have occasionally visited the British coasts, are the small ringed seal or " floe-rat" of the sealers (Phoca hispida), the Greenland or harp seal (Phoca grcenlandicd), the hooded or bladder-nosed seal (Cysto- phora cristata), and possibly the Bearded seal (Phoca bar- bata), though of the last there is no certain evidence. The general characters and geographical distribution of the remaining species of the group are indicated in the article MAMMALIA, vol. xv. p. 442. (W. H. P.)

SEAL FISHERIES. From a commercial point of view seals may be divided into two groups, —hair seals and fur seals. The former are valued for the oil they yield and for their skins, which are converted into leather, and the latter for their skins alone. The fur seals are provided with a dense soft under-fur like velvet and a quantity of long loose exterior hair, which has to be removed in dressing the hides. Hair seals are either entirely without under-fur or possess it in too small a quantity to render the skins of much commercial value as furs. The two groups correspond to the two divisions of eared seals and earless seals described above (see also vol. xv. pp. 442-443).

Hair Seals.—The principal hair seal fisheries are those of New-foundland and Labrador (area about 200 miles), the Gulf of St Lawrence, Jan May en and the adjacent seas, Nova Zembla, the White Sea and Arctic Ocean, the Caspian, and the North and South Pacific. The first-named is by far the most important. To the immense icefields borne past these shores during the spring months great herds of seals resort for the purpose of bringing forth and suckling their young. These are usually produced in the last week of February and increase rapidly in size. When born they weigh about 5 16 ; in four weeks the fat beneath the skin has increased to a depth of 3 to 4 inches, and with the adhering skin weighs from 40 to 50 tb. At this age the animals are in the best condition for being taken, as the oil then yielded is of the best quality. They remain on the ice attended by their dams for about six weeks, when they begin to take to the water, and it becomes much more difficult to capture them. When a floe containing young seals is reached, the hunters take to the ice armed with a pole or "gaff," having a hook at one end and shod with iron at the other. A blow on the nose from this quickly despatches the animal; by means of the " scalping-knife " the skin with the fat adhering is then rapidly detached. The fat and skins are rolled into bundles and dragged to the ship. When the ship reaches port the skins are separated from the fat and salted for export to Great Britain, where they are converted into leather. Of late years furriers have succeeded in converting a few of the finer skins into ladies' tippets. The fat was formerly thrown into huge vats, where its own weight and the heat of the sun extracted the oil, but in the improved modern process the fat is ground into minute pieces by machinery and then steamed ; the oil, after being exposed for a time in glass-covered tanks to the action of the sun's rays, is barrelled for ex-portation. The greater part of it goes to England, where it is largely employed both as an illuminant and as a lubricant. It is also used for tanning purposes and in the manufacture of the finer kinds of soap.





From 8000 to 10,000 men embark annually from Newfoundland on this pursuit. The steamers, which are rapidly superseding sailing vessels, are stoutly timbered, sheathed with iron and wood, and provided with iron-plated stems ; they carry from 150 to 300 men each, and make two, and sometimes when very successful even three, trips in the season. From 20 to 25 steamships in all are engaged in this industry, 6 of these being from Dundee, Scotland. The Dundee vessels arrive in Newfoundland in February and there ship their crews ; at the close of the sealing season they proceed to the northern whale fishery and return home in October. A " close time" for seals is now established by law. Sailing vessels cannot clear for this fishery before 1st March, nor can steamers before 10th March. After the young seals have taken to the water, the steamers in their second trips engage in the pursuit of the old breeding seals till the middle or end of May. These are taken either by shooting them or clubbing them when congregated in herds on the ice. This practice, which is most injurious to the fishery, has of late been partially abandoned, by an agreement among the owners of vessels not to continue operations beyond 30th April. The failures and disappointments of the voyage are numerous, many vessels re-turning to port with few seals or even with none. The prizes, however, are so enormous that there is no hesitation in embarking capital in the enterprise. It is no uncommon event for a steamer to return two or three weeks after leaving port laden to the gunwale with seals. As many as 42,000 have been brought in by a single steamer, the value at two and a half dollars per seal being f105,000 (£21,875). The men on board the steamers share one-third of the proceeds of the voyage among them ; the remainder goes to the owners who equip and provision the vessels. In sailing vessels the men get one-half the proceeds. The number of seals taken annually ranges from 350,000 to 500,000. In the three years 1877,1878, and 1881 the average take was 436,413, valued at £213,937. Between 1881 and 1886 the returns fell below this average owdng to the heavy ice, which comparatively few vessels succeeded in penetrating. The large number of young seals which escaped during these years will improve the fishery in the future.

In the seas around Newfoundland and Labrador there arc four species of seals,—the bay seal, the harp, the hood, and the square flipper. The first of these frequents the mouths of rivers and harbours and is never found on the ice. The harp, so called from a curved line of dark spots on its back making a figure somewhat resembling an ancient harp, is by far the most numerous, and is par excellence the seal of commerce. The hoods, which owe their name to a bag or hood on the nose of the males, which they can innate at pleasure for protection, are much larger than the harps, but their oil is not of such good quality. But few square flippers are taken; they are large seals from 12 to 16 feet in length, and are believed to be identical with the great Greenland seals. The seals frequenting these seas are migratory. In May, attended by their young, they commence their northerly movements to the Greenland seas, where they spend two or three months, and in September begin their southerly migration, moving along the coast of Labrador, feeding in its fiords and bays. One division passes through the Straits of Belle Isle into the Gulf of St Lawrence, the other along the east coast of Newfoundland. By the close of the year they reach the Great Banks, their southern headquarters, and early in February commence their northerly movement to meet the ice on which their young are to be brought forth.

Years. No. of Seals.
1881 417,903
1882 200,500
1883 300,350
1884 238.5S7

The Newfoundland fishery was of slight importance till the be-ginning of the 19th century. At first the seals were taken in nets; the next method was shooting them from large boats, which left shore about the middle of April. Afterwards small schooners were employed, and a rapid expansion of the fishery followed. Over 100 of these small vessels used to leave the port of St John's, and as many more the ports of Conception Bay. In 1795 the whole catch of seals was but 5000. In 1805 it reached 81,000; in 1815,126,000 ; in 1822, 306,983. The largest catches on record were in 1830, when 558,942 seals were taken; in 1831, 686,836 ; 1843, 651,370; and in 1844, 685,530. The following table shows the number of seals taken in some recent years :—

Years. No. of Seals.
185C 361,317
1861 3"5,2S2
1869 339,821
1876 500,000
1880 223,793

Of late years an increasing number of steamers from St John's have resorted to the Gulf of St Lawrence as well as small sailing vessels from the southern ports of Newfoundland. A few residents of the Magdalen Islands also pursue the seals on the Gulf ice, and the Canadians carry on a seal fishery along the shore by means of nets both in spring and autumn. The nets are made of strong hempen cord, some of them very large and costing with the anchors and gear as much as £1500 each. This fishery is carried on from Blanc Juberlis Bay to Cape Whittle. The number taken averages about 70,000 to 80,000.
Next in importance is the seal fishery carried on between Green-land, Spitsbergen, and the island of Jan Mayen,—between 68° and 74° N. fat. and 3° E. and 17° W. long. In most years, however, the seals are taken mainly in the vicinity of Jan Mayen. The fishery is carried on by the British, Norwegians, Swedes, Danes, and Germans. The number taken by the British vessels about equals that taken by all the others together. The species taken are the same as on the Newfoundland coast, the harp or saddleback and the hood or bladder-nose. The breeding season is about three weeks later than in the case of the Newfoundland seals, the young being brought forth between the 16th and the 22d of March. The method of capture is almost the same as that of the Newfoundland hunters. Steamers are now almost exclusively employed. The only British ports now engaged in the enterprise are Dundee and Peterhead. During the twelve years 1873 to 1885 the number of British vessels taking part in it was from 14 to 21, the number of men varying from 900 to 1200, and the number of seals taken ranging from 35,000 to 75,000. The total number of seals taken by these vessels during the ten years ending 1884 was 452,013. Formerly, from 1500 to 2700 men were employed, and the number of seals taken ranged from 50,000 to 125,000. The decline has been largely caused by the reckless and barbarous way in which the fishery has been con-ducted, the practice of seal-hunters of all nations having been to reach the seals soon after the young were born, and then to watch for the mothers as they came to suckle them and shoot them with-out mercy, leaving the young to die in thousands of starvation on the ice. The consequence is that the herds are not now a twentieth part of their former size. Newfoundland hunters, on the other Land, do not disturb the seals till they are grown and about to leave their mothers, the old seals not being killed till a later date. By an international treaty between England and Norway—the two nations most interested—a " close season " has been established in the Jan Mayen fishery. The Dundee and Peterhead steamers are chiefly manned by Shetlanders, wdio are taken on board at Lerwick. The vessels make the ice from the 15th to the 20th March and commence the chase in the destructive way already described. They follow up the capture of the young seals in April, when they are better worth taking. Then they proceed to separate the skins from the fat. The former are salted on board, and the fat is stowed in tanks. In May the pursuit of the old seals on the ice commences and continues till the 16th, when it is time to proceed to the whale fishery. The oil is not manufactured till the vessels reach home late in the autumn. As the blubber undergoes decay in the tanks, the oil is not so good in quality as that made in New-foundland from the fresh fat.

The Jan Mayen fishery commenced in 1840. In that year 13 British vessels and 650 men engaged in it, and 17,300 seals were taken. The Norwegians and other nationalities also took part in it. Steamers were introduced in 1858. The following table shows the growth and decline of the fishery:—

== TABLE ==

The Norwegian vessels are all steamers, sheathed with wood and iron, the crews averaging forty-six men. They belong principally to Tbnsberg, but Tromso also sends out a number of small vessels to hunt adult seals. The total annual product has reached $300,000. Over twenty Norwegian and Swedish steamers are engaged in this fishery. Since about the year 1873 or 1874 the Norwegians and Swedes have discovered a new fishing-ground for adult seals off the coast of Greenland between Iceland and Cape Farewell. It is carried on in the months of June and July. The seals taken are all of the hood kind. At one time the Jan Mayen fishery averaged 200,000 seals annually among all the nationalities engaged. It does not now exceed 120,000 to 130,000.

The Danes, the Eskimo, and the half-breeds carry on a seal-fishery off the western coast of Greenland between Cape Farewell and 79° N. lat. The seals taken are chiefly the floe or spotted seal and the square flipper. Rink, in his Greenland, estimates the annual number taken at 89,000, but at present it does not exceed 50,000, as the seals are becoming scarcer. The oil is made at the Danish settlements on the coast, and the skins are dried, not salted, and both are shipped to Denmark.

The fisheries of Nova Zembla, once productive, have declined in value, and are now carried on by only five vessels, which reach the island about the end of June. The fishermen commence with hunt-ing the seal and the walrus and afterwards fish for the common trout. Five kinds of seals are found here, the chief being the Phoca vitulina and the Phoca greenlandica. The number taken is small.





The Russians carry on a seal-fishery on the eastern and western coasts of the White Sea, in the bays of the Dwina and the Mezen and on the coast of Kanin. The species is the Phoca grcenlandica. These seals live in the high regions of the polar seas from May till September, and appear later in the gulfs and bays of the Arctic Ocean, where the young are born on the floating ice early in February. Soon after the hunt commences and lasts till the end of March. On the eastern coast of the White Sea the chase is pursued over a space of 230 miles. Two thousand hunters assemble at Kedy, near Cape Voronoff. High wooden towers are erected along the shore, whence observers watch the movements of the seals. Hunting sheds for the men are also erected. When a herd of seals is observed, the men go out on the ice, drawing small boats after them, and kill the young and old with clubs and guns. To approach the seals without being discovered, the hunters muffle themselves in long white shirts and advance slowly and noiselessly over the snow. They are often exposed to the greatest dangers, owing to the sudden movements of the ice. In following up the chase in April they use sailing boats 22 feet long, with an iron-plated bottom, which they draw up on the ice, where a vast en-campment is formed, and shooting - parties search for the seals. On the western shore of the White Sea the seal-hunt is less pro-ductive than on the eastern. The hunters meet at Devyatoe, a few miles north of the river Ponoi. About 500 men engage in the chase. The Russians take each year in the Arctic Ocean and the White Sea from 2,500,000 to 3,000,000 lb of seal blubber. Allow-ing an average of 40 lb per seal, this would imply the capture of 65,000 to 75,000 seals. The skins are made into leather.

The most extensive and valuable seal-fishery of the Russians is in the Caspian Sea, where the seals (Phoca caspica) are plentiful. They pass the summer in deep water, and in the autumn resort to the eastern basin, where the ice forms earliest and breaks up latest. Here the pairing takes place on the ice in December and January. The seals are also hunted at the months of the Volga and the Ural, and in the southern part of the sea, on the islands of the Gulf of Apsheron. There are three methods of hunting the seals,—killing them with clubs (the commonest and most successful way), shooting them on the ice, and taking them in nets. From 130,000 to 140,000 are taken annually.

A few seals are taken off the coast of California and Washington Territory. In the South Pacific, off the coast of Chili, only a few are now taken where formerly they were captured by the thousand.

The elephant seal or sea elephant (Macrorhinns leonina) was formerly taken in great numbers at various places for the sake of its oil. This fishery is now almost a thing of the past; since about 1875 it has been carried on solely from New London in Connecticut, the fleet numbering only four or five vessels. The yield in 1880 was 42,000 gallons of oil, worth $21,420.

The average number of hair seals taken annually may be estimated as follows :—
Seals.
Newfoundland, including Labrador and the Gulf of St Lawrence 400,000
Canadian net fishery, Gulf of St Lawrence 75,000
Jan Mayen and the adjacent seas 130,000
Western Greenland 50,000
Nova Zembla, White Sea, and Arctic Ocean 75,000
Caspian Sea 140,000
North and South Pacific 5,000
Total number of hair seals 875,000
Value at 82'50 per seal $2,187,500

Fur Seals.—The fur seals occupy two distinct areas. None exist on the shores of the North Atlantic. South of the equator they extend from near the tropics to the region of antarctic ice. By far the most important and valuable fur seal fisheries are those carried on at St Paul's and St George's Islands, belonging to the Pribyloff group, off the coast of Alaska, at the Commander Islands in the Behring Sea, and that in the same sea 700 miles west of the Alaskan seal islets. The species found here is the northern fur seal (Oallorhinus ursinus). The males attain mature size about the eighth year, when their length is from 7 to 8 feet, their girth from 7 to 8 feet, and their weight, when in full flesh, from 500 to 700 lb. The females are full grown at four years old, when they measure 4 feet in length, 2J in girth, and weigh from 80 to 100 Tb. The yearlings weigh from 30 to 40 lb. The seals resort to these islands late in spring chiefly for reproductive purposes, making their appearance from the southward. The number annually visiting St Paul's and St George's is estimated at five millions. About the middle of April the males begin to arrive and take their places along the shore in " the rookeries," as the breeding-grounds are called. The younger males are prevented from landing by the older, and are compelled either to stay in the water or to go to the uplands. By the middle of June all the males have assembled, and then the females begin to appear. Each old male seal collects from ten to fifteen or more females, whom he guards most jealously. The males fight furiously, "so that night and day the aggregated sound is like that of an approaching railway train." By the middle of July the family circle is complete. Soon after landing the female gives birth to one pup, weighing about 6 tb, which she nurses at wide intervals without any affection. Pairing takes place soon afterwards. No food is taken by the breeding males while on the rocks, — a period of three to four months. When the males leave after this long fast, they are reduced to half their former weight. In the end of October and middle of November all leave the island, the young males going last and by themselves.

The killing of the seals is carefully regulated. No females are killed, and only a certain number of young " bachelor " seals whose skhi3 are of superior quality. These younger male seals are spread out on the slopes above the rookeries to rest. A party of men armed with clubs of hard wood quietly creep between them and the shore, and at a given signal start up with a shout and drive the seals inland. When they reach the killing-grounds near the villages, they select those that are two or three years old and seem likely to yield the most valuable fur. These they despatch with a club. The skins are carefully salted for exportation. Besides the skin each seal yields about a gallon and a half of oil. But it is not used, as its rank odour renders refining very costly. The value of the skins in the raw state varies from five to twenty-five dollars each; at times, when furs are specially fashionable, a higher price is obtained. The quality of the Alaska furs is superior, but those obtained in the South Shetland and antarctic regions are rated best. A cloak of the richest fur seal, a yard deep or more, will cost from £25 to £40. The roots of the loose exterior hairs penetrate deeper into the skin than those of the fur or short hair, and can readily be cut by paring on the fleshy side, without touching the roots of the fur ; the long hairs then drop off, leaving the valuable fur below in a sheet like pure velvet. The number of seals killed on the Pribyloff Islands is limited to 100,000 annu-ally, and with the precautions taken they increase as fast as if left to themselves, "for when the number of males is in excess, the continual fighting on the rookeries destroys many of both females and young, which get trampled to death."

Alaska was purchased from Russia by the United States in 1867. The Pribyloff Islands were leased to the Alaska Commercial Company of San Francisco for twenty years, from 1st May 1870, under Act of Congress approved 1st July 1870. The annual rental is $55,000 with a tax of $2'62 on each skin taken,—making the total rental $317,000 per annum. The Alaska Commercial Company have leased the Commander Islands from the Russian Government. About 30,000 fur seals are annually taken there.

The fishery at the mouth of the Straits of Juan de Fuca and its vicinity is carried on by Americans and Canadians. The seals are captured in the waters, the largest number being secured at and about Cape Flattery, to the extent of 15,000 annually. The Lobos Islands, at the mouth of the Rio de la Plata, are under the protection of the Government of Uruguay, the number of seals annually taken being limited to about 12,000. Some of the numer-ous islands about Cape Horn are the breeding-places of fur seals, as are also the South Shetland Islands farther south. This Cape Horn region is visited by a fleet of seven to ten vessels belonging to New London and Stonington, Connecticut, and also by a few Chilian and other South American vessels. Only occasionally does a vessel visit the South Shetlands, though the quality of skins to be secured there is very superior. The headquarters for the fleet between seasons is at Punta Arenas, or Sandy Point, in the Straits of Magellan. The American fleet in 1880 numbered nine vessels of 1192 tons. The result of the fishery was 9275 skins, worth $90,431. Early in the 19th century the Falkland Islands abounded in fur seals, but they have been exterminated. The number now (1886) annually secured there does not average more than 500 ; in some years only 50 skins are taken.

There are annually received at London from the Cape of Good Hope about 10,000 sealskins taken at various islands in the Southern Indian Ocean and along the south-west coast of Africa. A few fur seals are taken in the Okhotsk Sea.

Nearly all the fur-seal skins find their way to London, where they are plucked, dressed, and dyed. A few, however, are prepared in New York. At the seal islands they are salted and baled with the fur inside, and in this manner shipped to London. The annual yield of the fur-seal fisheries of the world is about 185,000.
Seals.
Pribyloff Islands, Alaska 100,000
Commander Islands 30,000
Straits of Juan de Fuca and vicinity 15,000
Lobos Islands, mouth of Eio de la Plata 12,000
Patagonia, including South Shetland Islands and Straits of Magellan 15,000
Falkland Islands 500
Cape of Good Hope, including south-west coast of Africa and islands in Southern Indian Ocean 10,000
Islands belonging to Japan 2,500
Total 185,000

At an average of $7 per skin the annual value would be $1,295,000
Value of hair seals annually 2,187,500
Total value of hair and fur seals $3,482,500

See Hatton and Harvey, Newfoundland, 1883; Returns of the Jan Mayen Seal Fisheries, by Capitain Adams, 1885 ; United States Fish Commission Reports for 1873-74 and 1874-75 ; J. A. Allen, Eared Seals ; Charles Bryant, Habits of the Northern Fur Seal; H. W. Elliott, Seal Islands of Alaska. (M. H.)



The above article was written by two authors:

(a) First part of article
W. H. Flower, LL.D., F.R.S., Director, Natural History Department, British Museum.

(b) Second part of article (Seal Fisheries)
Rev. H. Harvey, St John's, Newfoundland



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