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Contact: Allison Banks, 907-697-2230
Glacier Bay National Park Superintendent Cherry Payne, has extended the closure of Johns Hopkins Inlet to all vessel traffic through July 15, 2010 to protect unweaned seal pups. A recent harbor seal survey found that pupping continued through mid-June, resulting in pups that will be highly dependent on their mothers through the middle of July.
Mariners are asked to exercise caution to avoid harbor seals hauled out on floating glacier ice. Harbor seals are especially vulnerable to disturbance during the summer pupping and molting seasons. When disturbed, seal pups can be separated from their mother, with potentially fatal consequences. Mariners are urged to maintain at least one quarter mile distance from seals hauled out on ice. Mariners should also reduce speed and maintain a greater distance if the seals appear agitated by the vessel’s approach.
Superintendent Payne recommends that mariners keep a sharp lookout for seals in these and other areas, and take early action to minimize any disturbance. As a reminder, park regulations and the Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibit the harassment of harbor seals and other marine mammals.
For detailed vessel use regulations and other boating information, please follow the link below: