The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says marine mammals tend to strand seasonally in the area based on the species. Seals tend to be in Maryland during the winter months, they say.
Seals may often just be resting when spotted on the beach or on the docks. However, the MD DNR says they may be stranded due to age, disease, trauma or other reasons. They warn to keep your distance from seals as they can be aggressive, especially toward pets. They also say seal bites can be both painful and unsafe, as they can sometimes transmit diseases.
All marine mammals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Ocean City Police say anyone who spots a seal, or other marine mammal, in distress can call the National Aquarium's Stranding Hotline at 410-576-3880 or OC Animal Control at 410-723-6610.