Controversy Over San Francisco Sea Lions

I visited my sea lion buddies a while ago at Pier 39. Walking through the pier I was surprised there were not many people around until I came upon the sea lion area only to find literally hundreds of people with their cameras getting shots of the lions. You could hear the barking from a block away.

Years ago the sea lions for some unknown reason inhabited that area at pier 39 which was used as docks for small boats. At that time there was major distress over what to do with the sea lions. The boat owners were not happy, the city got involved and everyone was trying to come up with a solution. In the meantime the sea lions were drawing quite a crowd which made the pier 39 ownership sit up and take notice. Long story short Pier 39 won the endless discussions and allowed the sea lions to take residence. Where are the boats? They have docked in another area around pier 39.

Unfortunately another controversy is brewing over these beautiful creatures. You can read the SF Examiner article here. There is one among a few swim clubs called the Dolphin swim club which is comprised of people who like to go and swim in the area. As a result, they do not like sharing that particular part of the bay with the sea lions. They are causing an uproar which is gaining media attention and has residents divided over the situation. The city has proposed firing off some type of mechanism under the ocean to scare off the sea lions. Are they nuts?

My solution is to tell the swimmers to go elsewhere. There are pools all over the city as well as hundreds of miles of ocean in which to swim. If they don't like the sea lions they should leave. Why on earth should we cater to a bunch of elite swimmers who do nothing for our city when the sea lions bring in thousands of tourists and thousands of dollars each year. The sea lions are a major tourist attraction in San Francisco. Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit yearly and make a sea lion visit their priority.

I took a photo and some video for you. As you can see they don’t move around very much but they certainly communicate with all that barking. It’s fun to just watch them and how they interact with each other. They’ll push each other off the dock, then swim around and chase each other. Sometimes they’ll have what seems to be a barking contest - or maybe they’re singing?

So, if you are ever visiting make sure to catch a peek of these guys, you can’t miss them, just follow the bark.


rainfield61 said…
Ha ha!! I can't follow the distant barks, but certainly like them.
Anonymous said…
Docks are for people. Rocks are for sea lions.
Icy BC said…
Their barks sound pretty much like dogs..I like your peaceful and in harmony with nature attitude. Swimmers can always find another area to swim, because the water is the sea lions' home after all..
Anonymous said…
As a former commercial fisherman, I have no love at all for these destructive creatures. Lost a lot of income and equipment to them, and wish they could all get some dreadful disease to wipe them off the face of the earth.
rainfield, They are cute aren't they?

Icy, I totaly agree, thanks Icy.

Anonymous, While you are entitled to your opinion and I thank you for commenting I have to say I am sorry you are so full of anger.
Bola said…
Yes, the swimmers should go elsewhere, simple and direct.While displaced those animals from their natural habitat when you can get your fun elsewhere.Move them and they may not survive the change of abode. It's really not fair!
What magnificent creatures! Yes,let the elite swimmer go elsewhere. There's plenty of ocean for everyone.
Bola, I completely agree with you. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Nothing Profound, Exactly my sentiments. Thank you.
Ratty said…
I agree with you, the swimmers should go somewhere else. I'd rather see the fat bodies of the sea lions than the fat bodies of those swimmers anyway. :)
I read anonymous comment and I thought about all the animals who do destruction around here to equipment but we never want to see them extinguished. Every creature has its place in the universe.
I agree with you about leaving the sea lions where they are and telling the swimmers to go elsewhere. I'm off to read the article.
MountainWoman, I absolutely agree with you that every creature has its place in the universe. Thanks for visiting.
RNSANE said…
Is it impossible for the swimmers to swim where the sea lions are? At any rate, my friend who used to swim with the Dolphin Club, swam from Alcatraz to somewhere near Ghirardelli, not near Pier 39 - and, sometimes, they swam under the Golden Gate.

The seals are a much bigger draw for tourism than the Dolphin Club, that's for sure. While I realize seals may interfere with commercial fishing, the seas, first and foremost, belong to the sea creatures, in my opinion. We need to be respectful of that.

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