We would like to take this opportunity to express our concern over a photograph of environmental videographer Earl Richmond holding a Pacific harbor seal pup that was published in the Jan. 27 edition of the Coastline Pilot.
Although we are not aware of the circumstances under which the photograph was taken, we must discourage the general public from seeking out similar photo opportunities. Marine mammals are protected under federal law and it is always a source of concern to us when we see photographs such as this that may encourage the public to pick up or otherwise disturb one of these protected animals.
This is the time of year when we begin to see many stranded sea lion pups on our local beaches and harbor-seal pupping season will begin in March. Pacific Marine Mammal Center suggests taking the following actions if a sick or injured marine mammal is spotted on shore: