Monthly Archives: April 2013

Seal Rock – Southern California Seals

In the spring time nature gets excited and active. It’s the same in the sea, and Southern California Seals are playing, mating and surviving in many places such as Seal Rock, in Laguna Beach. We live amongst them, and they us. Literally just out the back door.

Watch the 3 minute film  ;)~

Seals at Seal Rock in Laguna Beach, CA literally live and survive just out our back doors.

My ocean and surf photo partner, Jeff of Jeffery Dean Images, and myself enjoy the ocean, surf and all its wonderful sea life. We made a short paddle trip out to Seal Rock just north of Laguna Beach’s center to view, observe, photograph and film wild seals in their habitat.

Jeff paddles between the jetting rocks at Seal Rock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon reaching the famed rock and known seal congregation area, we enjoyed very playful seals, which swam around and under us; a very beautiful experience every time. While there we also noticed that many were very sick. In fact, there was a young pup found dead on the beach that very morning. While members of  Orange County’s Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) were there, we found out that they had discovered several recent deaths, and noted that many were sick for unknown reasons. They are also calling this “A state of Emergency.”

A Seal pup watches me carefully from a short distance from his perch on Seal Rock.

 

“Orange County’s Pacific Marine Mammal Center has been experiencing record numbers of sick and injured sea lions this month — the most they have ever had in the center’s 42-year history, according to PMMC Executive Director Keith Matassa. The malnourished creatures have been rescued from local beaches… no one knows what exactly is causing all these sea lions to turn up sick, injured and starving on the beaches of Orange County — right now, the reasons can only be speculated. If you see a sick or injured sea lion or seal on the beach, you’re cautioned to leave it alone and call the PMMC at 949-494-3050. A rescue crew will arrive and transport the animal back to the center and give it proper care.” (Rich Kane, The Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch, March 19, 2013.)

 

A seal pup struggles to climb from the sea for rest. It is possible that it may be slowly starving as we witnessed a dead pup washed up in the cove that same morning and several others looking very gaunt and near death. Notice the spine clearly visible in its lower back. The PMMC has stated that they are suspicious of starvation.

 

Sadly, we witnessed many of the seals coughing roughly, vomiting and some very weak, fragile and malnourished that seemed to be near their end. Barely able to enter or leave the water, panting heavily and a deep pool of black in their eyes and all bones visible through their thinning fur.

As much as I enjoy the ocean, and all its creatures and energy, I am also saddened by what I discover from time to time. I watched, filmed and photographed seals for 3 hours, the whole time in awe, amazement and concern for what I was seeing.

From this day, I created a short film in hope to inspire, at least a little, in you the power of the natural world in these seals. I hope you enjoy it, find it peaceful and mesmerizing, and also to think a little more about our impact and the choices that you can make to help make it be better for us all. We all have the right to live healthy and free, especially where we were born. Maybe there is something we can do to help, at least a little.

 

“In 2009, Pacific Marine Mammal Center experienced an unusually busy year caring for ailing sea lion pups and seals stranded along the Orange County coastline… [It’s even more now] “It typically takes about two months before the pups are ready to be released back into the ocean. The average weight of the mammals taken in over the last six weeks is about 24 pounds, with most of them 30 percent to 50 percent under their normal weight of 48 to 79 pounds,” center officials said… “Since we are the only licensed marine mammal rescue in the entire Orange County area, the task of responding to each animal in need and financially supporting their recovery rests entirely on our shoulders,” said Melissa Sciacca, director of development/marketing. The center is seeking donations to help care for the mammals during the emergency.” (BY VIK JOLLY / The Orange County Register June 2009)

 

Look at this little guy. I hope he is happy and safe. ;) ~

To learn more about the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, visit www.pacificmmc.org

Located in Laguna Beach, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to rescuing, treating and rehabilitating marine mammals that have been stranded along Orange County’s coastline. The Center also releases healthy animals back into the wild, and strives to increase public awareness of the marine environment through education and research. The Center is also available to schedule educational programs or presentations. For more information, please contact the Pacific Marine Mammal Center at the provided telephone number, or visit its website.  http://pacificmmc.org

  • Fax: 949-494-2802
  • Hours: Mon – Sun, 10am – 4pm
  • Founding Date: 1971

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way their animals are treated” 

~ Mahatma Ghandi