Leave Seals Be
The opportunity to view wild marine mammals is part of what makes California’s Central and North Coasts so special. While young seal and sea lion pups have an innate charm and are quite photogenic, it’s important for us to observe these animals from a distance.
• Keep your distance! It’s OK to take photos and admire wild animals, but remember to keep a safe distance of at least 50 feet. If an animal is reacting to you, you’re too close.
• If an animal appears ill or injured, or it is young and you don’t see the mom nearby, please don’t try to intervene. Call The Marine Mammal Center’s 24-hour rescue hotline at 415.289.SEAL (7325). The Center will monitor the animal and, if necessary, send their trained experts to rescue it safely.
• The distinctive “mah! mah!” cry of a harbor seal pup may sound like a call for help, but it’s never a good idea to interfere. The mother may be just offshore foraging for food, and if a human or dog gets too close, she may abandon the pup altogether.
• It’s normal for elephant seals and sea lions to rest on land. Don’t try to herd them back into the water.
• Keeping a safe distance goes for drones, too! Flying a drone too close to a resting seal or sea lion could negatively alter its behavior, which is a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
GET INVOLVED WITH THE MARINE MAMMAL CENTER
VISIT: You don’t get to scratch the sea otters behind the ears or cuddle the seals—they don’t want these wild animals to get attached to people. But you can watch from a viewing platform and learn a lot about the animals and the work of the Center.
VOLUNTEER: Join the 1,300 volunteers who rescue and care for the animals at the Center and do educational outreach.
BECOME A MEMBER: For as little as $25 a year, you can become a member and enjoy discounts on tours and at the Center’s gift store.
Join Adopt-a-Seal® at The Marine Mammal Center and you’ll receive a beautiful certificate and the knowledge that you helped return a marine mammal to its ocean home. A perfect gift choice for the animal or ocean enthusiast in your life, your purchase is tax-deductible and helps to buy fish and medicine for current and future patients.
MAKE GOOD EATING CHOICES
A great way to help take care of the ocean and its inhabitants is through the seafood you eat. Ask your servers and fish sellers who caught your fish, where and how. Eat lower on the food chain and enjoy small fish and seaweed. Our area is home to world-famous oyster farms, and they produce clams and mussels, as well. These bivalves actually filter toxins from the ocean. When in doubt, refer to the Seafood Watch guidelines published by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. SeafoodWatch.org