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 harbor seal pup is clearly in distress or injured, contact the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 1.866.767.6114 or the NOAA Seal Hotline at 1.866.767.6114.

If you believe there is another marine mammal such as a sea lion, or whale that is injured or entangled in marine debris contact the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network Hotline at 1.866.767.6114.

If you see a sea otter on the beach 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

Harbor Seals

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.

harbor-seal-on-beach
sea-lion
 

If you encounter someone harassing or harming a marine mammal, or allowing their pets to do so, call the NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Hotline at 1.800.853.1964.