02/25/07 - posted by Paul Judge

Can anyone shed light on the disappearance of the California sea lions at Seal Rocks over the last 20 or so years? The critters still frequent the Bay and our coastal waters but they no longer haul out as they and their cousins, the Steller Sea Lion, once did on Seal Rocks. For generations people were amused and delighted by the sight and barking of sea lions (Never seals!) which seasonally populated the rocks and ocean just offshore of the Cliff House. The population of the Steller sea lion, the larger of the two species, has sadly plummeted in the last few decades due to commercial overfishing of their food source, hake fish I believe, and to disease. We no longer see them here along our shores. The California sea lions have switched their haul out location to the floating docks at the Pier 39 yacht harbor. Maybe they just love tourists and follow the money!? I once read in a newspaper that this change in location coincided with the event of the Loma Prieta earthquake in October of 1989. I fail to understand that as a plausible connection. They were residents of the Outsidelands before any of us were. I think we should start a petition to get 'em back!

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