Sealions in Newport Harbor; click photo to read about Zalophus californianus on MarineBio.org.
- adj: of or belonging to the Pinnipedia, a suborder of carnivorous aquatic
mammals that includes the seals, walruses, and similar animals having finlike flippers as organs of locomotion (American Heritage Dictionary).
- n : aquatic carnivorous mammal having a streamlined body specialized for swimming with limbs modified as flippers (Wikipedia )
Sure, it's fun to see wildlife in the harbor, even tempting to float over for a good look at these aquatic puppy-dogs, but from the locals' point of view, things have gotten way out of control. The image of the playful puppy-dog has turned into the hellraiser-biker that noisily rides into town, parks where he wants, does what he wants, causes various degrees of destruction, parties all night, then rides out again without regard to others (with apologies to the new breed of biker-types). If you read more, you'll learn that sea lions are closer relatives of bears than dogs. Wise people do not play with bears.
This video shows sealions on a vessel in Santa Cruz, CA. If you have not recently double-checked your deterrents, their cousins here in Newport Harbor could be on your boat, barking (or worse!) just like these. Bayfront residents want to share with you that the sealions are happy to bark all night long while recreating aboard moored vessels. Many of the human-type of recreational users of the waters of Newport Beach may not be aware there is a recently adopted set of ordinances to deter visiting sea lions.
In February 2006, the Newport Beach City Council adopted these ordinances relating to sea lion deterrence and wildlife feeding in Newport Bay (NBMC 17.22.150, 17.24.085 and 7.30).
Chapter 7.30.010 - Feeding of Non-Domesticated Animals Prohibited.
It is unlawful for any person to feed or provide food to any non-domesticated animal. (Ord. 2006-4 § 1 (part), 2006)
Chapter 7.30.020 - Feeding of Non-Domesticated AnimalsExceptions.
It shall not be a violation of Section 7.30.010 of this chapter for a person to feed or provide food to a non-domesticated animal when the non-domesticated animal is maintained, treated or fed pursuant to a valid certificate or permit issued by the County of Orange, the State of California, or an agency of the United States Government. (Ord. 2006-4 § 1 (part), 2006)
Chapter 7.30.030 - Depositing of Food, Refuse, Fish or Fish Parts Prohibited.
A. It is unlawful for any person to deposit, put, place, drop, dump or throw or cause to be deposited, put, placed, dropped, dumped or thrown any food, refuse, fish, or fish parts into the waters of Newport Bay including, but not limited to, washing down a vessel or dock containing fish parts, bait or food into the waters of Newport Bay; or pumping live or dead bait out of holding tanks of a vessel or a dock into the waters of Newport Bay.
B. It is unlawful for any person to deposit, put, place, drop, dump or throw or cause to be deposited, put, placed, dropped, dumped or thrown any food, refuse, fish, or fish parts on to any public pier, except in containers provided therefore. (Ord. 2006-4 § 1 (part), 2006)
Chapter 7.30.040 - Notification of the Public Required
Any person who engages in the business of: chartering vessels including, but not limited to, chartering fishing, harbor tour, and passenger vessels; or renting day-use boats, shall keep a copy of Chapter 7.30 posted in a conspicuous place on the vessel or boat and upon the premises where such business is conducted and shall notify all persons using the vessel or boat of the provisions of this Chapter.
Chapter 17.24.085 - Securing of Structures; subsequently enumerated 17.50.100
A. If, based upon an inspection by the City or Orange County Harbor Patrol or other facts, the Harbor Resources Director determines that a sea lion has boarded a permitted structure and/or any vessel or other appurtenances attached to the structure, the Harbor Resources Director shall provide the permittee with a notice of determination and the permittee shall take any and all necessary action to employ appropriate measures to deter sea lions from boarding the structure and/or any vessel or other appurtenances attached to the structure, within thirty (30) days (soon to change to 7 days -ed.) of the mailing of the notice of determination. If the Harbor Resources Director determines that appropriate deterrent measures have not been taken within thirty (30) days of the mailing of the notice of determination, the Harbor Resources Director shall provide the permittee with a second notice of determination and the permittee shall take any and all necessary action to employ appropriate sea lion deterrent measures within seven days of the mailing of the second notice of determination. Appropriate deterrent measures shall be defined as the latest methodology permitted by National Marine Fisheries Service (and published on the City of Newport Beach Harbor Resources Website -ed.) to minimize sea lion boarding of a permitted structure and/or any vessel or other appurtenances attached to the structure.
B. In addition to any criminal, civil, administrative or other legal remedy that may be available to enforce violations of the Municipal Code or applicable State Codes, violations of this section may be enforced in accordance with the provisions contained in Chapter 1.05 of this code.
C. The determinations of the Harbor Resources Director under this section may be appealed in accordance with the provisions contained in Chapter 17.42 of this title. (Ord. 2006-5 § 2, 2006)
Playing and sunning
Bark, rest, repeat
Fouling a boat
Photos taken in Newport Harbor
The Harbor Resources Department has prepared a document that outlines the reasoning and history of the Ordinance as well as a few facts, problems and the current path of solutions that are being monitored and currently in force.
The City of Newport Beach is Requesting Your Help
• Please do not harass the sea lions in any way.
• Please do not feed sea lions.
• If you see someone else feeding sea lions, please remind them that this
activity causes many problems in our bay.
• If you own a boat or dock, please check it at least weekly for signs or sea lion
use and then refer to the City’s website for appropriate deterrent measures.
• Please be mindful that the “ocean begins at your front door.” Do not wash
anything from your property, dock or boat that could find its way into the bay.
• Please do not throw anything overboard when enjoying the waters of our bay.
The City of Newport Beach, its Residents, and Harbor Resources, will thank you.
About us -
The Newport Mooring Association is responsible for promoting the business and personal interests of mooring permittees and persons holding property, real or personal, adjacent or attached to, residing on, or anchored to tidelands or public property in, upon, or adjacent to Newport Harbor, as those interests relate to the use of the bay area.
Newport Mooring Association
P.O. Box 1118
Newport Beach, CA 92659-0118