Video was taken last week of tourists harassing newborn seal pups and mothers along the San Diego coast, just outside of Children’s Pool in La Jolla, California. We’ve covered this story before, when just a month ago another video was taken of young children throwing sand on resting seals. While Children’s Pool has faced controversy in the past for designing a heavily populated beach right on top of a marine mammal haul out site, the area is closed to the public during pupping season. However, a few seal pups and their mothers that wander outside of the closed area are not granted the same privacy. In the video, which you can see here, beachgoers are recorded trying to pet the seal pups, take photos with them and their mothers, and invoking aggressive responses from these charismatic mammals.
It’s pretty obvious that this type of behavior is inappropriate (not to mention illegal) and harmful to the welfare of these animals. Rather than spend the entirety of this post summarizing all the reasons you should not disturb, harass, touch, or feed these wild animals, I want to draw attention to the majority of people interviewed in the video who exercised proper restraint and behavior. While there are always going to be idiots out there, I believe that we’re seeing a greater push among our general population to be more environmentally and socially aware. When Children’s Pool was temporarily closed to the public about a year ago, you saw just as much support for the move to protect wildlife as you did opposition. The backlash online and on social media against this video is further evidence that most folks out there want to protect our threatened wildlife.
This is why SUFB will be creating a digital SIFB community, a network of like-minded, passionate citizens who can educate others on ocean conservation matters and take real steps to protecting these environments in their own communities. This community will also be a place of further discussion on ocean conservation, marine ecosystem management, and social issues affecting our planet’s marine resources. Andrew and I will be formalizing this community over the next couple of months, so stay tuned for more news on that front. In the meantime, please continue to stay active in your community and speak up against attacks on the oceans.
Enjoy the Podcast!