While Sea Lions Are Good for Business in the Bay Area, Fishermen Shoot Them Farther South

Local News
Male California sea lions gather close together on the docks at Pier 39 in San Francisco. Each winter since 1990, an ever-growing band of the sea lions has converged on the docks there. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Male California sea lions gather close together on the docks at Pier 39 in San Francisco. Each winter since 1990, an ever-growing band of the sea lions has converged on the docks there. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Sea lions are increasingly living in parallel universes along the California coast, a disparity best observed amid the noisy, stinking spectacle that rolls out daily at San Francisco’s Pier 39 shopping center.

There, hundreds of these enormous, mostly male California sea lions bark, defecate, urinate and regurgitate, but are immensely popular with tourists. As a result, the blubber boys are treated like royalty.

“The sea lions are a godsend: a natural attraction that’s phenomenal for business,” Sheila Chandor, Pier 39 harbormaster, said on a recent weekday as tourists snapped selfies against a backdrop of sea lions piled up like cordwood on docks.

Elsewhere in California, sea lions are pariahs. The animals that head south for their summer breeding season are sometimes welcomed with arrows, harpoons, electric cattle prods, gunfire, bombs and fish laced with chemicals.

A tour boat offers passengers a close-up look at California sea lions on the docks at Pier 39. After teetering on extinction, the species has made one of the most impressive recoveries of all marine mammals.(Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
A tour boat offers passengers a close-up look at California sea lions on the docks at Pier 39. After teetering on extinction, the species has made one of the most impressive recoveries of all marine mammals.(Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

Most Popular

Latest News

More News

KTLA on Instagram

Instagram

KTLA on Facebook

KTLA on Twitter