First off, they are Sea Lions, not seals. Seals have ear flaps. The Sea Lions haven’t always been at Pier 39’s K dock, they are a fairly new phenomenon. The Sea Lions didn’t appear until the 1989 earthquake. Marine Biologists are uncertain as to why this happened except that maybe something disrupted their normal home environment or food source. But within months of the October 1989 quake, they began to appear. Their barking was considered a nuisance by the merchants at Fisherman’s Wharf where the pier is located so they appealed to the state for assistance in removing the new tenants. The Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits moving the Sea Lions so the merchants were disappointed but not surprised when their request was denied.
But then the Sea Lions began drawing crowds. The Pier was always a popular tourist destination but now locals were coming too. And many businesses saw a steep increase in revenue. Today most businesses have changed their minds sharing the dock. There is still the barking which is almost constant and since most of the Sea Lions are male, there are occasional fights. In addition, the dock has to be sprayed down daily but many see it as a small price to pay for the increased revenue.
6 Replies to “Picture of the day: The Sealions of San Francisco’s Pier 39”
I love nature, i just think people got to close to the animals and is not a good thing…
The sea lions tend to just stay on the floating docks and off the main pier. Which is a good thing as they can be a bit aggressive. But a safe distance is a must. They are protected by law and even feeding them is illegal.
I didn’t new that, but they look so amazing creatures, just chilling on the sun, specially the little ones, i bet is wonderful view to see all this in real, a little meditation😌
My favorite day in SF was just sitting at the pier and watching them. You’re right its very meditative.
lol, I love how they just don’t care – ‘we like it here and we’re staying put’ – lovely!
That pretty much sums it up too. They like it there. <ost of the sea lions are male and sea lion colony's are very alpha oriented. (one male breeds and that is all) so a lot of these sea lions have been kicked out of their colony so it's kind of a giant bachelor party