Animals in Northeast Pacific

Below you can find a complete list of Northeast Pacific Ocean animals. We currently track 117 animals in Northeast Pacific and are adding more every day!

Apart from the Aleutian Islands curving away from Alaska, the Northeast Pacific is basically devoid of landmasses everywhere from North America to Japan and Russia. In between these two outliers of the continents of Asia and North America, the Pacific Ocean is a cold, blustery seascape far off the world’s major trade routes and traversed mostly by vessels taking advantage of the bounteous harvests of the frigid national fisheries in the region.

Even for these vessels, the action is mostly along the continental shelf rather than out into the oceanic reaches. Part of the harvest comes in the form of shellfish, such as famous Alaskan King Crabs, although more ordinary scaled fishes are also taken in large quantities. The area is also home to a large number of the world’s whales. Combine whale watching with the unique and spectacular coastal scenery, and one finds that cruises into these northern waters are far more popular than one might otherwise imagine.

Obviously, there is no National Animal Of The Northeast Pacific since there is no single national authority to pick one. If there were to be such a creature, however, it would probably be one of the instantly recognizable species of whale.

Where To Find The Top Wild Animals In The Northeast Pacific Ocean

Much of the wildlife of the Northern Pacific consists of migratory fish species, so it is not really possible to designate a unique spot where one is most likely to find the sort of view that is sought. Along the spectacular and thinly-settled coastline of Alaska, one can find a full selection of viewing opportunities.

For those interested in mammalian inhabitants of the Northeast Pacific, most of the bays and harbors all along the west coast of North America provide food, shelter, and safety for species such as Sea Otters, Sea Lions, and Seals.

As part of the largest ocean on the planet, it only makes sense that the Northeast Pacific is also home to some of the largest wildlife species in the world as well. The mighty and majestic Humpback Whales of the area are famous for their vast bulk, yet the largest of the dolphins– the Killer Whale or Orca – as well as the giant Pacific Squid and Octopus are also titans among the fellow members of their species.

The Most Dangerous Animals In The Northeast Pacific Ocean

While there are plenty of dangerous creatures in the sea, they are generally not much of a risk unless you invade their underwater domain. In that case, they might mistake you for some new type of food source.

Sharks are generally a risk anywhere they are found in the world. Due to their mass, any close-up encounter with a member of the whale family also has the potential of being dangerous. Overall, however, the most dangerous type of wildlife in the Northeast Pacific is probably the Killer Whale or Orca.

This is, after all, a very large sea creature and one that is carnivorous. They may not be malignantly disposed towards humans, but they are also not the happy-go-lucky creatures in the wild that they are at Sea World.

Endangered Animals In The Northeast Pacific Ocean

Over so large a region of the planet, there are many endangered species in the Northeast Pacific region. The North Pacific Right Whale is among those considered to be most endangered. In the past, it was of less concern since it was typically grouped with the Right Whale species of the Atlantic and Southern Pacific but is now classified as its own unique species.

Approximately 20 different sharks are listed as being of concern, as well as a number of sea turtle species.

There is increasing concern about the over-harvesting of many of the Pacific’s most well-known fish species. Crab populations are under pressure as are such fish as the Alaskan Pollock, which in turn came under pressure as stocks of Atlantic Cod collapsed. This forced fishermen to look for alternatives that were similar in taste and color to the well-known Cod. The various members of the Salmon family are getting much attention due both to overfishing and breeding ground destruction due to drought conditions on the western half of North America.

Naturally, there are also wildlife species that have gone fully extinct or are in very immediate danger of becoming extinct. Probably the most widely recognized member of extinct Pacific species is the Japanese Sea Lion, which was once seen in huge numbers.

Northeast Pacific Ocean Animals

Albacore Tuna

The albacore is a very fast swimmer


The largest wingspan of any bird in the world!


November 12th is celebrated as National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day


There are 70 different species!


The anglerfish has a glowing lure on its head to attract unsuspecting prey

Baleen Whale

“Sings” a whale song during breeding season.


Closely related to crabs and lobsters!


Can grow to nearly 2 meters long!


Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Marlin

Every black marlin is born as a female.


One of the ugliest creatures in existence!

Blue-Ringed Octopus

The blue-ringed octopus produces some of the deadliest poison in the world

Blue Shark

Blue sharks can have up to 135 pups at a time.

Blue Whale

The largest animal on Earth

Bluefin Tuna

The bluefin is one of the largest fish in the world

Bonito Fish

May eat squid or other small invertebrate ocean life

Bonnethead Shark

Bonnetheads are the only hammerhead sharks that use their pectoral fins to swim.

Bottlenose Dolphin

Stays in groups from 15 to 2,000 in number!'

Bull Shark

Unpredictable and aggressive temperament!

Butterfly Fish

There are more than 100 different species!


Also called ghost shark


Also known as the anemonefish!


They eat other fish

Cookiecutter Shark

The cookiecutter shark takes its name because it leaves a cookie-shaped bite hole in its prey.


There are more than 6000 species of coral in the world's oceans.


There are 93 different crab groups

Crappie Fish

The crappie is one of the most popular freshwater fish in North America.


Found throughout the world's oceans!


Can reach speeds of up to 25 mph!

Drum Fish

The drum fish makes a croaking sound with its swimming bladder!

Dusky Dolphin

Communicates using whistles, squeaks and clicks!


Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

False Killer Whale

The false killer whale looks like a cross between a dolphin and orca!


Has the largest teeth compared to body size of any known fish

Fin Whale

Found throughout ocean waters worldwide!


Respire through the gills on their heads!


A flat fish found in the Atlantic and Pacific!


There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Fish

Can glide in the air for hundreds of feet


Found inhabiting tropical islands and coasts!


The frogfish can change colors, but it takes several weeks to do so

Fur Seal

Found only in the Northern Hemisphere!

Garden Eel

Garden eel colonies are made up of hundreds to thousands of individuals.

Ghost Crab

Their eyestalks, which are sometimes horned, can swivel 360 degrees

Great White Shark

Can grow to more than 8 meters long!

Grey Reef Shark

One of the most common shark species!


Can use slime to suffocate marine predators or escape capture

Hammerhead Shark

Found in coastal waters around the world!

Harbor Seal

Harbor seals can dive as deep as 1400 feet

Hardhead Catfish

The hardhead catfish has a sharp spine near its fin to inject venom

Hermit Crab

There are over 500 different species!


People enjoy the taste of the oily fish in many different ways including pickled, smoked, salted, dried and fermented.

Horseshoe Crab

Changed little in over 500 million years!

Humboldt Squid

The Humboldt squid can change colors to communicate

Humpback Whale

There are thought to be 80,000 left in the wild!

Immortal Jellyfish

Excellent hitchhiker on long-trip cargo ships


There are an estimated 30 million species!


Have tentacles around their mouths!

Killer Whale

Typically consumes over 200 kg of food a day!

King Crab

Can have a leg span of nearly 2 meters!


The krill is perhaps the most important animal in the marine ecosystem!

Lion’s Mane Jellyfish

Though it’s a huge animal, the lifespan of the lion’s mane jellyfish is only a year.


Have been known to reach 100 years old!

Man of War Jellyfish

Named for an 18th century warship

Manta Ray

Can grow up to 9m wide!

Megamouth Shark

Swims with its mouth open to capture prey

Moray Eel

Can grow to nearly 2 meters in length!

Northern Fur Seal

Dense underfur means they don’t need blubber to stay warm


There are around 300 different species!


Can process up to 10 litres of water an hour!


Closely related to crabs and lobsters!


The second most poisonous creature in the world!

Reef Shark

Grey reef sharks can give birth without males


These fish can grow up to three feet long!


Returns upstream every year to spawn

Salmon Shark

Salmon sharks are related to Great Whites.

Sand Tiger Shark

The sand tiger is the shark most commonly seen in aquariums.


Schools of sardines can be miles long and are often visible from an airplane


Sawfish teeth keep growing as the fish gets older

Scorpion Fish

There are more than 200 recognised species!

Sea Anemone

Creatures have characteristics of both animal and plant

Sea Lion

It's flippers allow it to walk on the land

Sea Slug

All sea slugs have both male and female sex organs

Sea Squirt

There are more than 3,000 known species!

Sea Turtle

Always return to the same beach to lay eggs!

Sea Urchin

Can live for up to 200 years!


Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!


There are 30 different species worldwide!

Sei Whale

This whale is one of the fastest of the cetaceans


No shark species has any bones in their bodies


There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Sixgill shark

The sixgill shark has six pairs of gills instead of the normal five

Skipjack Tuna

The skipjack is the most commonly caught tuna in the world

Sleeper Shark

The Greenland shark is one of the longest living vertebrates in the world.


There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Sperm Whale

Each tooth weighs 1kg!

Spinner Shark

Can have up to 20 babies

Spiny Dogfish

Found in ocean waters worldwide!


There are more than 9,000 known species!


Some species are known to have 10 arms!


Has 2 stomachs to aid digestion!


It's stinger is razor-sharp or serrated!


Large species can swallow whole salmon


Found around shallow coral reefs!


Its genus dates back to the Cretaceous period – 113 million years ago


Can be heard out of water


Nests on tropical islands and cliffs!


The tuna has a sleek body that enables it to swim quickly through the water


Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.

Whale Shark

The largest species of fish in the world!

Wolf Eel

Wolf Eels may become tame and interact with human in areas where people frequently dive.


There are more than 500 different species!

Yellowfin Tuna

The yellowfin forms schools with other tuna species

Yeti Crab

The yeti crab has hairy arms, which collect bacteria to feed on

Zebra Shark

Can get to be 30 years old in the wild!

Northeast Pacific Ocean Animals List

Animals in Northeast Pacific FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What animals live in the North Pacific Ocean?

Wildlife in the North Pacific is very diverse. It ranges from the very tiny Krill all the way up to the massive whales that feed upon these tiny creatures as their primary food source. In between are such well-known creatures as the Dolphin, Squid, Octopus, and various eerie-looking members of the Ray family.

Crab and shellfish are found along the coastlines. Commercial fish such as Pollock and Tuna are found, as is the Salmon during the proper time of the year before they head back inland to spawn.

All of this bounty supports many other life forms such as fish-eating birds like Sea Gulls and Eagles. Aquatic mammals also feast upon the fish stocks of the region.

What fish live in the North Pacific Ocean?

In addition to those listed in the categories above, the Northeast Pacific is home to many other types of fish. Among the most well-known ones are Halibut, two types of Sole (Dover and English), smaller versions of the more famous and larger Atlantic Cod, Sardines, Lingcod, Tuna, and Sable Fish, or Dark Cod.