Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
In the past, southern elephant seals were hunted for their blubber that was boiled down into oil. A typical male could produce about 350 liters of oil. Some aboriginal people also hunted them for food and skins. This activity has ceased and killing is now controlled by the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals. The only use of M. leonina to man today is for purely scientific purposes. ("Elephant Seal", 2002; "Elephant Seals", 1983; "Elephant Seals", 2002; Anderson, 2003; Nowak, 2003; Seal Conservation Society, 2001; Slip and Clippingdale, 2002)
Positive Impacts: body parts are source of valuable material; research and education
- Nowak, R. 2003. Walker's Marine Mammals of the World. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press.