Subject: Case Study: La Jolla seal debate/ Med monk seals (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Sun, 28 Mar 1999 18:42:25 -0500 (EST)

Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Subject: La Jolla seal debate/ Med monk seals

There is a local debate going on regarding the dredging of a
breakwater-protected beach that has become a haulout site for maybe 50 or
so harbor seals.  The seals feces have led to high bacterial counts in the
water, resulting in closure of the beach to swimmers.

The breakwater creates a mouth to the pocket beach that is _about_ 50m
across, and the 'bay' is maybe 30-50m deep (depending on tides) (these are
rough guesstimates).  The locality is open coast, with heavy surge outside
the 'bay'.

QUESTION: at a City Council hearing this week, a speaker in favor of the
dredging suggested that the seals themselves are at risk due to the
concentration of animals in a sheltered area, and stated in support of this
that a factor in the Mediterannean monk seal die-off several years ago was
their concentration in a similarly small, sheltered houlout area.  I don't
recall any mention of spatial concentration of monk seals being implicated
in that event; is there any basis for the statement/concern?

Many thanks for any clarification,

Jim Moore               Dopeler effect: the tendency of stupid ideas
Anthro 0532             to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
La Jolla CA 92093             ERROR MESSAGE:
fax 619 534-5946                        Yesterday it worked                        Today it is not working          Windows is like that