The Northern Fur Seals will hang around all day in one spot, unlike the Harbor Seals, which is a good way to identify a possible sighting of one. You see lots of Harbor Seals in the Monterey Bay, and at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco Bay, but in most of these places Northern Fur Seals have been gone for a long time.
Northern Fur Seals have returned to Seabright Beach.
Now the nurseries in the Farallon Islands have been protecting the breeding fur seals, and they’re making a comeback. They can now be seen in the northern Monterey Bay around Santa Cruz. Two pair were sighted off Seabright Beach there recently – they are bigger than harbor seals and have longer faces, and they stick their fins up in the air and leave them there. The harbor seals will swim along the water, stopping intermittantly, but always on the move, but along this beach Northern Fur Seals are lolling in the spring surf, just beyond the ridges of inshore waves.
Until these recent sightings, Northern Fur Seals haven’t been seen off Seabright Beach in over 30 years, according to one observer.