South African fur seals are more abundant than are Australian fur seals. Both are at the mercy of poachers, even though there are legal hunting seasons for South African fur seals. Much of the poaching danger is in the form of fishermen and large fishing corporations who believe the seals to be jeopardizing their livelihood by stealing from their nets. While this does occur it is believed to be exaggerated by those in the fishing industry.
Humans are also inadvertently threatening these seals through pollution. Plastic, pieces of netting, and pieces of fishing line kill or injure thousands of these seals a year.
Non-human threats include killer whales and white sharks. Stingrays can cause some dangerous injuries. Pups left on the mainland are also sometimes taken by terrestrial predators, such as the black-backed jackal in South Africa.
US Federal List: no special status
CITES: appendix ii
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern