West Seattle wildlife: Seal pups need space offshore, too

That’s Skittles the seal pup, nicknamed by Seal Sitters, who spent much of this past week trying to protect the too-thin pup while s/he tried to rest along Alki-area shores. The last update from Seal Sitters’ Robin Lindsey noted that Skittles was resting on an offshore platform/raft as night fell on Thursday. And that has led her to put out this reminder:

We would like to stress that people need to stay away from the two platforms when seals are resting there. We are getting increased reports of harassment, forcing the pups at times to abandon the rafts. Seal Sitters wants to remind everyone that disturbing a marine mammal – whether on shore or in the water or on a platform – is a violation of federal law, the Marine Mammal Protection Act. It is considered a disturbance or “take” if you so much as wake up a pup. Please stay 100 yards away when possible. Our hotline has been flooded with calls about kayakers, paddle-boarders and boaters in motorized craft getting to close. We have advised people to email us photographs of anyone who is close enough to disturb these resting seals and we will forward them on to NOAA’s Office for Law Enforcement for investigation. Alki Kayak has been very proactive in telling rental clients to stay away from any pup on shore or on the rafts. We hope that kayakers and paddle boarders will help spread the word among themselves to stay back.

These pups DESPERATELY need rest to survive. They are already struggling and can’t afford to waste precious calories. We don’t want these pups forced on shore where it is even more dangerous for them. PLEASE keep a distance when you are out in the Sound. It is truly a matter of life and death for these pups. And if anyone spots a pup on the beach, please call our hotline immediately at 206-905-7325 (SEAL).

12 Replies to "West Seattle wildlife: Seal pups need space offshore, too"

  • thegodshavegonecrazy September 29, 2012 (10:35 pm)

    Please, people, spread the info you’ve read here, and help these sweet, innocent baby animals survive…their lives are tough enough without the further threat caused by careless, thoughtless, misguided human intrusions.

  • Yikes September 30, 2012 (8:29 am)

    So those same misguided human intrusions built the platforms they are resting on. Without humans they WOULD have to come for the shore. I’m all for protecting wildlife but this is a little ridiculous. Do you think NOAA is csi or something. They are going to look at the face of someone disturbing a seal and automatically know who it is?

    • WSB September 30, 2012 (9:55 am)

      Yikes, certainly Seal Sitters’ position is not anti-human. After all, they’re all people too. However, there are ways to trace people – boats and even jet-ski type watercraft are certainly recognizable, and in good weather, there are a whole lot of potential witnesses on shore.

  • cruzer September 30, 2012 (9:44 am)

    Protect fragile wildlife!
    It’s the law….

  • marcus ativalu September 30, 2012 (11:31 am)

    what happend?
    kinda sounds like boaters are almost hunting them?
    is there anything specific we are talking about

  • Chris W September 30, 2012 (11:40 am)

    Slightly off topic, but I know from reading Robin’s posts at BlubberBlog.org thar the pups have been terribly thin this year and I wonder if the WS hum kept the fish away… and if the pups might be able to fatten up soon. Here’s hoping!!

  • Yikes September 30, 2012 (12:27 pm)

    Understood but in the statement you posted it is considered a disurbance simply to wake a pup up and therefore apparently someone should take a picture of someone who is close to the pup because they may have woken it up.

    Its a ridiculous statement. And they are completely blowing smoke. There is no way way to prove that a pup woke up do to “noise.” it’s one thing to prevent dogs from running up to them. Great fine.

    But to say you are disturbing them on a platform in the middle of the water give me a break. How do you know the ferry didn’t. Or the waves from a tanker? Or the sound of an outboard engine?

    How about when I’m fishing and a seal takes a salmon right off my line. Did I just disturb it?

    If these people are so concerned about the environment make sure the eel grass is protected. It is a hell of a lot more important to the Eco system than seals.

  • Peabody October 1, 2012 (8:54 am)

    Yikes, I think it’s hilarious that a seal took a salmon off your line while you were fishing. Is that why you’re so pissed off? Sounds like a pretty smart seal, making you do all the work for its dinner. LOL!

  • john October 1, 2012 (2:54 pm)

    I had an amazing encounter with one of these little guys last week when a pup tried to climb up on the bow of my kayak with me in it! I hadn’t seen the animal previously, so obviously could not have avoided it… I think we were both surprised to see each other! Such a treat to have such a close brush with nature so close to home… this was just a few yards off of the beach near Salty’s.

  • WS parent October 1, 2012 (11:11 pm)

    Really, Yikes. If you have ever been around those yahoos in boats that buzz right by a resting seal to get a closer look- you’d know exactly who woke up the sleeping seal. It would be great if it was sufficient to say, “please don’t disturb resting seal pups”. Too bad there are those that don’t respond if you DON’T cite them the marine mammal act. Of course, there are many who DO respond- and thank you to all of you who do- please spread the word!

  • WS parent October 1, 2012 (11:12 pm)

    And to Robin: GREAT PHOTO- as always!

  • marcus ativalu October 2, 2012 (10:53 am)

    how would they know theres a seal there if those yahoos are 200ft out in the water?
    i seen a few people on jetskis?
    are those the yahoos?
    i think dogs would be the biggest concern

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