Baltic grey and ringed seals are game animal species that can be hunted during the species-specific season.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry specifies the highest permissible quota for each hunting year. Grey seals can be hunted within limits set by regional quotas in all Finnish maritime waters, and the hunting of ringed seals is possible in the Kvarken population management area, provided that the hunter obtains the relevant hunting licence.

Species recognition is crucial in seal hunting. The grey seal has a long, straight muzzle which is almost hooked in old males. Viewed from the side, the seal’s eye is located halfway between the tip of the muzzle and the back of the head. Distinguishing a juvenile grey seal from a ringed seal can be difficult. The Baltic ringed seal has a short muzzle and, when viewed from the side, its eye is closer to the tip of the muzzle than the back of the skull. The ringed seal has a prominent, protruding brow ridge.
Species recognition is crucial in seal hunting. The grey seal has a long, straight muzzle which is almost hooked in old males. Viewed from the side, the seal’s eye is located halfway between the tip of the muzzle and the back of the head. Distinguishing a juvenile grey seal from a ringed seal can be difficult. The Baltic ringed seal has a short muzzle and, when viewed from the side, its eye is closer to the tip of the muzzle than the back of the skull. The ringed seal has a prominent, protruding brow ridge.

The Natural Resources Institute Finland would like to obtain samples of seals killed by hunters

Samples extracted from seals killed by hunters are used in a variety of projects seeking data on the structure of seal populations, the health of seals, and their impact on fish populations. The most important samples include lower canine teeth, used for determining the age and genitals, in order to investigate reproductive health and monitor the age and sex ration of the population. The thickness of the blubber layer, which provides an indication of the seal’s physical condition, is the key measurement. Other samples vary from year to year. For example, livers and muscles are sampled for parasites and concentrations of environmental toxins.

Picture on top of the page: Petri Timonen

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