Opinion: Do something for the seals

I am a 15-year-old tourist from Arizona and recently my family and I visited La Jolla to walk along the coast. We came upon the Children’s Pool and were used to seeing it closed to the public so the whole family was excited to go down and see the wildlife.

At first I was content with how well the rules were set and it seemed that as long as the visitors followed them it wouldn’t interrupt the animals. But not long after we stayed on the beach it was apparent that there was a problem.

There were many seals in the water and I could imagine some had pups but the people ashore were playing music and taking flash pictures and were even letting their children go into the water after the seals and splash water at them. Many of the seals starting “flushing,” which as I’ve been told is dangerous and causes pup abandonment, and many of the seals were frightened and the mobs of people wouldn’t let them come ashore to rest.

This troubles me and I’m hoping someone will do something about it.

Alyse Kingston

Tourist from Arizona

Related posts:

  1. Our View: Time for both sides to take a time out at Children’s Pool
  2. Life at La Jolla’s Children’s Pool: Two views
  3. Opinion: Children’s Pool is about living up to a commitment
  4. Planning Commission denies year-round rope barrier for La Jolla Children’s Pool
  5. Opinion: One Minute with Leon Campbell

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=43548

Posted by Staff on Jun 16, 2011. Filed under News, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

54 Comments for “Opinion: Do something for the seals”

  1. James

    I don't know when you were here visiting but, pupping season is Dec 15th to May 15th 45 pups were born and it takes 6-8 weeks to wean the pups. So by the time the rope comes down the pups are good to go!

    If people were chasing the seals then that is a problem. It's a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act to harass the seals. It is my hope that one day we will have a Ranger to teach proper beach use while respecting the wildlife!

    I hope you come back to visit us again I can pretty much guarantee there will always be seals in La Jolla!

    P.S. If people leave mean comments don't take it personal.

  2. Michael

    Alyse, It is obvious that you got an ear full of propaganda from the militant vegan/animal rights donation table at the Children's Pool.
    After about a month the seal pups are weaned and the mother seals abandon their pups. Seal pups can swim at birth and quickly learn how to feed themselves. The seals are not in any danger at this public beach and do not need a group of activists instilling fear in tourists to "save" them while collecting donation money that does nothing to help seals or the environment.
    Sometimes tourists do get too close to the seals on the beach and what has to be done is what used to be done before the activists botched the whole situation….and that is for the lifeguards to warn the tourists that they are too close – the tourists move back- and everything is fine.
    Oh, and by the way…once the seals are in the water they are not afraid of humans so don't let the boogieman tales from the activists scare you….

    • npk32

      Now prepare for your earful of propaganda from the other side…

    • James

      How come when a 7 year old says she thinks the beach should be for children she's beloved as a brilliant young lady but when another young girl says she likes the seals "she must have got an ear full of propaganda"?

  3. cyberKICK

    Also note, you can always watch the seals on the other side of the wall, at the rookery 8 miles south, along the bluffs north of Scripps Pier, and you can see Sea Lions over at the La Jolla Cove. This beach was set aside for swimming, small children, and fishing. Paid for by a private citizen.

    • npk32

      Also note, you can also swim, dive, fish, play frisbee, or BBQ at a few other places in the area. I would list them all but the Light limits the amount of characters per post.

      • cyberKICK

        If you want to fish, it is pretty much the only spot. Illegal to go out of the cove with fishing gear. The reefs make going out further south dangerous. That is one of the reasons this park was built.

        • npk32

          Children's Pool is pretty much the only spot to fish in San Diego?

          • cyberKICK

            It is the easiest place to get out ot the kelp. You can't legally go out of the cove. If you want to fix the fishing laws so that we can go out the cove that would be great. The next closes site to be able to swim out to where the fish are if you are a beginner diver is oceanside.

  4. LaJollaJim

    Then stay in AZ zonie.

    Its named The CHILDRENS Pool for a reason. I was created for children, not seals

    • npk32

      Seriously, don't you know we don't care about wildlife in La Jolla?

    • James

      Are you anti-business too?

      • npk32

        Anti-logic seems more appropriate.

      • cyberKICK

        How much more business was being done back when all the white sand beaches were covered with people? I remember having to take a shuttle and get there early because there wasn't even enough room to put your towel down. Of course the seal activists have chased most of the tourists away (as well as many of the locals). The only ones left are those who the seal activists want. If you yell at everybody not wearing a hat until all you see is people wearing hats, can you say that a hat business is a really good idea. Perhaps you just chased away all the people who don't wear hats. The people of La Jolla have spoken over and over at meetings and even the LJCPC has stated that La Jolla wants to have the beach open for people… not a free seal zoo.

        • npk32

          I understand that your goal is to make sure that all the beaches in the area have every square inch of sand covered with people but do you at least understand why that might not be appealing to everyone?

          • cyberKICK

            There are plenty of seals everywhere. It is like crying that if you scare pigeons off a power line the tourists who came all the way from New York won't be able to see them in their natural habitat. There are plenty of seals on all the rocks, and lots of beaches nearby. This one beach happens to be the easiest entry point for spear diving, and the protection of the wall, lifeguards, bathrooms and showers make this beach far more appealing for people than seals. Seals don't need showers, bathrooms, or lifeguards. There are only 3 beaches in the area with lifeguards, and this one has the main hub. Why can't you watch seals sleep on the rocks or other beaches? Why are showers and lifeguards needed for sleeping seal watching?

          • npk32

            And there aren't plenty of places to access the ocean? I'm not trying to argue about seals here, I'm asking whether or not you realize that jamming people onto every square inch of sand might not be appealing to everyone.

          • Meghan

            When did anyone say or imply that they wanted to jam people onto every square inch of sand? Your posts rarely make any sense…

          • npk32

            "How much more business was being done back when all the white sand beaches were covered with people? I remember having to take a shuttle and get there early because there wasn't even enough room to put your towel down."

            Try reading more than one comment before inserting yourself into a conversation.

          • Meghan

            Pointing out that the beaches in La Jolla are usually crowded regardless of the seals location is not the same as "I understand that your goal is to make sure that all the beaches in the area have every square inch of sand covered with people"

          • npk32

            Meghan, do you understand why having all the white sand beaches in the area covered with people might not be appealing to everyone? I'm not asking if you agree, I'm asking if you understand.

          • cyberKICK

            Maybe you should read more. What I was pointing out is that it makes no sense to claim that if you chase people away and create an uncomfortable environment, you don't increase business, but rather diminish it. The seals are everywhere. People interesting in looking at seals can obviously do that whether or not people are at The Children's Pool.

          • npk32

            "The seals are everywhere. People interesting in looking at seals can obviously do that whether or not people are at The Children's Pool."

            By that logic you could argue that there are beaches everywhere. People interested in going to the beach can obviously do that whether or not there are seals at Children's Pool. Tourists are much more likely to find beaches on their own than seals.

          • cyberKICK

            Seals don't require beach. Do some research on the harbor seal (common seal). They tend to populate rocks before they go on hot sand. We are talking about the most populous pinniped on the planet. If you want to see seagulls you can. You don't need to close a beach to people so that seagulls will land on it.

          • npk32

            I'm just curious, did you read my previous comment and not understand what I was saying or did you just not read it?

          • cyberKICK

            I did read it, and responded. There are seals all over the place. Not just on this beach. You can pretty much seem them from any beach in La Jolla. If you walk out on the sea wall, you will see them on the rocks right up by the railing. They can also be seen on Seal Rock most of the time. Also, Point Loma, OB, North of Scripps Pier, Sunset Cliffs, Oceanside, Encinitas, etc. You have to really be blind to not be able to find seals. By your logic New York should close one of it's parks so that pigeons will land on the ground and you can look at them. After all, it will be easier for tourists to find them on the ground rather than on light poles, and rooftops.

          • npk32

            Right, and those places you mentioned, those are beaches that offer access to the ocean, places to play frisbee, lay out in the sun, BBQ, etc.? And it's probably safe to say that there's a few more in the area that offer those amenities as well?

            If New York had 70 miles of parks and the majority of pigeons in the city had their nests on one 300 foot stretch of grass within those parks then I think you could probably make a case for restricting access to that particular location.

          • cyberKICK

            Except this isn't where the "majority" of seals are. Also, those I listed don't have good fishing or protected, current free ocean access. and many are illegal to fish from. Most don't have lifeguards, showers, or bathrooms. None of them have an enclosed, man made beach with no currents, but with lifeguards, bathrooms, an emergency clinic, bathrooms, easy access to the kelp, and good fishing. If you know one name it.

          • npk32

            "Except this isn't where the 'majority' of seals are."

            But it is where the majority of seals give birth to their pups in the area.

            I'm not opposed to protected, current free ocean access. My concern is with people who use CP as their own personal football field or BBQ pit during pupping season when it's clear that their actions, at the worst, may cause harm to pups, and at best, deny people a rare opportunity to see newborn seal pups interacting with their mothers.

            If people want to cross the rope during pupping season so they can play in the sand and prove a point to a woman with a megaphone then they are completely within their rights to do so. However, those people should know that their actions undermine the efforts of a true shared use solution. These people provide the ammo that more extreme supporters of the seals use to justify their actions and they do a disservice to the community by inflaming a situation that everyone wants to see come to an end as soon as possible.

          • michael

            Npk32…this is the most reasonable post on this subject that you have made so far in this debate and I commend you for this….but you do have some facts wrong and you really don't understand the dynamics in play here…..and if I went into a lengthy explanation you would not believe me, but let me start with this…
            There are thousands of seals in the San Diego area and this is not where the majority give birth…The "extreme supporters of the seals" are the ones calling the shots in the pro seal world and they do not want shared use in any way shape or form…they want to get rid of all human/animal interaction period everywhere..oops! did i freak you out with that statement?…maybe I should stop there….There are NO seal haters or Anti-seal people …When the SealWatch table is gone, the pro-access people will be gone and I will leave it at that…

          • Michael

            And Npk32…if you are up for a reasonable discussion on this I'm game….but if you respond with anything like "you're a crazy Tea Party seal hater..prove it", I will leave you in the dust with the rest of the Kool-Aid drinkers…there's a lot more going on here than meets the eye

          • npk32

            I'm always up for a reasonable discussion. While I don't have any interest in calling you names, I prefer that you stick with facts rather than conjecture.

          • cyberKICK

            It is always good to have a reasonable discussion. It is rare to see one on this subject though.

          • michael

            Ok…lets take this slow…Which mainstream pro-access statement do you think is conjecture?

          • npk32

            "…they want to get rid of all human/animal interaction period everywhere.."

            Although not a mainstream statement by any means, this is exactly the type of comment that undermines the efforts of both sides of this debate.

          • michael

            SealWatch San Diego is a program of APRL , a vegan animal liberation group. The Aprl was founded by Bryan Pease. Pease is a known SHAC activist, ALF supporter and former PETA spokesman. Pease is allied with Ingrid Newkirk(PETA) and Wayne Pacelle(HSUS) All these groups and people are total animal liberation extremists including the incremental abolishment of pet ownership

          • npk32

            I see what you're saying and I agree that there are questionable methods being employed by certain individuals associated with this issue. However, this issue needs to be debated based on the facts of the situation, not by attempting to discredit individual members of either side. I would write more here but I don't think this comment section can get any narrower.

          • cyberKICK

            I have talked with the SealWatch desk people as well as FoS people. The people at the SealWatch desk say that the goal is to get people off the coast everywhere. They believe that people have no business on beaches. I was blown away by such a comment, but it is one of their core beliefs. They have stated that once they get this beach closed they will move on to closing the next, and the next, with no end.

          • npk32

            One individual's opinion doesn't necessarily reflect the goal of everyone who argues in favor of the seals.

            I've spoken to people who claim to be pro-access who have told me that seals are filthy animals and they would get rid of every single one of them if they had a chance. I sincerely doubt that this view sums up the position of pro-access advocates and it illustrates why we need to discuss this issue based on facts, not on the merits of the people doing the debating.

          • Seal Teem 6

            What a moron….

          • npk32

            Congrats on your first post with no spelling errors…

          • Tommy T

            You have the highest thumbs down rating, maybe you are a moron for arguing to the side that is right and makes the most since.

          • npk32

            I'd love to speak with a shared use advocate whose argument doesn't disintegrate into name-calling and conjecture at the slightest hint of disagreement.

          • James

            I've talked to many of the Pro-Beach Access people as well as the Seal Watch people and have never ended up in a name calling situation or even had it turn confrontational. Of course I wasn't looking to be confrontational just wanted to hear there argument knowing full well neither side wants to budge even a little bit!

            Bring back the Ranger!

          • cyberKICK

            The ranger didn't understand the law, and left following the issuance of a couple bad citations. The city attorney had to reject the tickets.

          • npk32

            Brilliant plan by Lightner. Maybe when she's done complaining about the Real World she could fit some time into her schedule to come up with some more bright ideas.

          • James

            Blah Blah Blah!

            Like I've said a Ranger that can teach people to use the beach as it was intended but responsibly in harmony with nature much like a Ranger in any other city/state/national park. Would that really be a bad thing to you?

          • cyberKICK

            That is not what the last ranger did.

          • cyberKICK

            I said this in another thread: "They had a Ranger, but the Ranger abused her power and tried clearing off the beach from people and eventually issued tickets the city attorney had to reject because they were illegal (the tickets we invalid). She simply didn't understand the law or anything. No ranger with any real skill would want to deal with this mess. As complaints are just flowing in from the activists complaining that the ranger was not giving tickets. Those complaints stay on the rangers record. It is a catch 22 for the ranger. Either issue tickets to people who are not breaking the law, or receive complaints on your record."

          • James

            That doesn't make the idea of a Ranger a bad one. It means the system that Rangers work under is as messed up as the situation at the Children'ts Pool!

          • npk32

            Calling this an "idea" is incredibly generous. It's obvious that Sherri Lightner doesn't have enough respect for her constituents to spend time coming up with a real plan for dealing with this issue. Maybe if an MTV film crew showed up at CP she'd find it worth her while to spend some time on it.

          • cyberKICK

            You are right, the citizens in La Jolla have repeatidily asked to have the park cleaned and dredged. The locals have been complaining about the smell, and properties values have suffered. I've been to the LJCPC meetings, and it is overwhelming how against closing the beach they are.

  5. SDgov_is_spineless

    One day you will learn that there are people that make a lot of money pretending there is wildlife to protect. In fact they make more than viable living doing it to the tune of $400,000 a year in profit.

    It is hard to understand as a 15 year old that anybody who is standing up for defenseless animals could be so profit driven but it kind makes sense if you think about it.

    If you could walk into your school and set up a table and make $400,000 a year spreading confusion, misinformation and fear of animals being exploited and get away with it, ie the principle did not clamp down then I bet you would do it too. That is what is happening at children's pool.

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