Do not touch! Marine mammals including seals, sea lions, sea otters, whales, and porpoises are protected by the federal laws that require the public stay 100 yards away.
If you believe a marine animal is in distress or injured, contact the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 1-866-767-6114.
If you find an entangled whale along Washington, Oregon, or California call the NOAA Fisheries Entanglement Reporting Hotline at 1-877-SOS-WHALe (1-877-767-9425). Prompt reporting is the best way to assist an entangled animal.
If you see a sea otter on the beach in Washington, please contact the Washington Sea Otter Stranding Hotline at 1.87.SEAOTTER (1-877-326-8837).
WHAT IS NORMAL BEHAVIOR FOR SEALS, SEA LIONS, AND OTHER MARINE MAMMALS?
Sea lions often form small or medium size groups and actually take naps in the water. Sometimes when they are sleeping they will put a flipper out the water (get rid of excess heat) to thermoregulate. This grouping behavior is called ‘rafting’ and sometimes looks like the animals are entangled in a net.
Harbor Seal pups spend much of their time out of the water on beaches warming up or resting while their moms are away feeding, sometimes for up to 48 hours. More often than not, a pup does not need help. You may observe the pup from more than 100 yards away with binoculars or a spotting scope.