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Pinniped Monitoring Program

Updated: Jun 5, 2021

Volunteering our time to monitor our seals and sea lions, this program will be used to help the City of San Diego revise their methods in protecting San Diego's iconic wildlife. To better protect pinnipeds and humans, our program serves to mitigate interaction between humans and pinnipeds.

Help us by being polite activists and speak up against sea lion/seal harassment you observe in San Diego! In the US waters, sea lions and seals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (MMPA), making it illegal to harm, touch, or harass them in any way. If you would like to get involved with this program of ours, please email us at, with subject line: "Pinniped Monitoring Inquiry."

Below are some tips and facts when viewing seals and sea lions:

1. Harassment of marine mammals is illegal and is punishable by law of $100-$13,000.

2. According to the MMPA, harassment is an act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which has the potential to injure the animal or cause a disruption of its natural behavior (this includes if it wakes up due to human presence/disturbance).

3. Keep away 50 yards or more from a seal or sea lion. Keep pets on a leash and away from seals for their safety.

4. Avoid excessive noise, as marine mammals have sensitive hearing.

5. Slowly leave the area if marine mammals show signs of disturbance.

6. Limit your viewing time to 30 min. or less.

7. Never pursue or chase wildlife.

8. Never feed or attempt to feed wildlife. Feeding leads to animals being accustomed to us and reliant on humans for food, altering their natural behavior.

REPORT: Any potential violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act should be reported to NOAA’s National Enforcement Hotline at (800) 853-1964.

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