New 2020 Article
Pinnipeds: population stable since the 1990s
Sheena Majewski, Pinniped Research Program, Pacific Biological Station, DFO
With contributions from: Aroha Miller, Manager, Ocean Watch, Ocean Wise Research Institute
Jane Watson, Professor Emeritus, Vancouver Island University
Peter Ross, VP Research, Ocean Wise Research Institute
Excerpt from New 2020 article
Pinnipeds common to nearshore B.C. waters include harbour seals (Phoca vitulina), California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), and Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus). Northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) and Elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) are also common to Pacific Canadian waters, but they are observed much less frequently due to their offshore nature and long dive times, respectively. Recently, lone Guadalupe fur seals (Arctocephalus townsendi) have been observed on a handful of occasions, which may be related to warm water pulses driven by climate change.
Read the full article to see what else is happening.
Background: Typical rocky reef haulout (Credit: Sheena Majewski)
What can you do?
A detailed overview of recommended actions relating to climate change is included in The path to zero carbon municipalities. In some cases, no progress was identified on previous recommended actions; these remain listed below.
- Always keep your distance from seals/sea lions, especially during breeding season.
- If you see a marine mammal in distress (injured, stranded, entangled), keep people and animals away and report it to the Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Rescue Centre on 604-258-SEAL (7325), or to DFO at 1-800- 465-4336, or on marine VHF radio channel 16.
- Alternatively, if you see someone abusing a marine mammal, you can also call DFO on their 24-hour hotline, 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or Marine VHF radio channel 16.
Government Action and Policy:
- Continue to fund the monitoring and research of pinnipeds in the Strait of Georgia, including Átl’ḵa7tsem/ Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound.
- Use best-available scientific evidence to inform whether seal/sea lion management is practical or will produce the intended results.
- Create more Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to protect pinnipeds from human activities and haul-out sites from climate change impacts.