Harvesting of the seal for its coat almost led to the species extinction in the mid 1700s. At the time of the Alaskan Treaty provisions where put into place in order to maintain population sizes. The treaty stated that only juvenile male seals, found on land, could be killed.
Current threats include loss of breeding habitat on islands.
US Federal List: no special status
CITES: no special status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: vulnerable