Harbor Seal Pups and Human Interactions

A Webinar with NOAA Marine Fisheries, National Marine Life Center, and SSC Marine Mammal Rescue


Beach season is here, and so are some of the ocean’s most adorable inhabitants: harbor seal pups! Unfortunately, it’s all-too-common for people to literally “love these animals to death” by interfering with them. 

Join marine mammal experts Lisa Becker, Ainsley Smith, and Ashley Stokes for a conversation about human interactions with marine mammals on New England’s coastline. Learn about the different types of threats that these seal pups face on our crowded coastline, and what you can do to help protect these little ones!

You’ll also hear an update on our seal pups Hercules and Zeus, who are currently undergoing rehabilitation at National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay. Hercules was picked up by Seacoast Science Center due to multiple interactions with well-meaning humans in Gloucester, MA.

Not only can harassing harbor seal pups result in their abandonment, injury, and death, but it’s also federally illegal under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. If you see a seal on the beach this summer, please keep 150 feet away and call your local marine mammal rescue hotline (SSC Marine Mammal Rescue Hotline: 603-997-9448).


Ainsley Smith
Regional Marine Mammal Stranding Coordinator, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, Office of Protected Resources
NOAA Fisheries

Lisa Becker
Marine Wildlife Rehabilitation Director
National Marine Life Center

Ashley Stokes
Marine Mammal Rescue Director
Seacoast Science Center

Seacoast Science Center works as a part of the Greater Atlantic Marine Mammal Stranding Network, which includes our partners at NOAA and National Marine Life Center. All network partners work together to successfully respond to, rehabilitate, and collect data on marine mammals in this region. 


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It is because of your philanthropy that we are able to continue our important wildlife conservation work including responding to and rescuing marine mammals from our beaches, educating our community about ocean ecology, and instilling a commitment to conservation.

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