A curious spotted seal peeks above the surface in waters off Japan's northernmost city of Wakkanai, Hokkaido, on Nov. 20, 2018. Spotted seals have arrived in the area to winter, and as many as 100 of the animals can now be seen each day. They normally only stay from around November to the following spring, but there are now some seals which stay around nearby fishing ports all-year-round. Seals have been causing serious problems to local fisheries, with damages in the Soya region -- the northernmost part of the prefecture -- totaling about 98 million yen in 2017, according to Hokkaido Prefectural Government's Soya General Subprefectural Bureau.
(Japanese original by Taichi Kaizuka, Hokkaido Photo Group)