Guest Post: Robb Mead – New Tactics of the Seal Haters in La Jolla

sealcoveThe seal haters in La Jolla, California, have started new tactics to drive the seals off the beach without being cited. On May 14, Mayor Bob Filner directed the police, lifeguards, and ranger to start issuing citations to people who harass or disturb the seals for any reason. Ever since then, the anti-seal thugs have been trying to devise ways to drive the seals away without getting cited. Unfortunately, the ranger has been taking a very passive approach and has only been giving warnings even when the law is being broken and citations are justified. The mayor’s directions were very clear; there was no grace period and the anti-seal thugs were notified. To date, only the police have issued a few citations.

Recently, the anti-seal thugs have been driving large number of seals off the beach in the early morning hours before sunrise. They do this so their supporters can take over the beach in the morning and keep the seals away all day. This has been regular occurrence lately, and we’ve had dedicated volunteers undercover to get video so their illegal and cowardly actions can be documented. We haven’t been successful — until NOW.

The seal cam is still in operation. In my last update, I reported that it would be coming down on May 17 due to the construction of the new lifeguard building. The construction has been delayed because NOAA has not issued an Incidental Harassment Approval (IHA) yet. This is required because the seals will be disturbed during the months of construction. We got approval to keep the seal cam up longer and, as a result, we caught their despicable actions on video.

This is where we need everyone’s help. We must flood the mayor’s office with emails demanding the beach be closed at night to prevent this illegal harassment. The timing is good and we have the documentation, but we need concerned people to speak out in volumes. I’m asking you to send emails and spread this request through your friends, family, and organizations! Your email should be brief and polite and sent as a concerned individual rather than an organized group. PLEASE remember that San Diego Mayor Filner has been a great supporter and champion for protecting the seals. Please do NOT criticize or attack him in any way! He issued the order to close the beach at night during pupping season and gave the recent directive to issue citations. (However, tell him you want the ranger to be more aggressive in enforcement)

Here are the most important talking points for your email:

  1. To keep the seals from being driven off, the beach and seawall must be closed at night immediately! (Please watch the attached video and refer to it in your email. There are other recent harassment videos that will be posted on YouTube soon.)
  2. In addition to closing the beach and seawall at night, there needs to be private security patrols at night, as well. (Security patrols were supposed to start after the 24-hour police patrols stopped.)
  3. During daylight hours, there needs to be stronger enforcement by the ranger and citations issued.

Here are some additional talking points, if you wish:

  1. You support the Mayor in his actions to close the beach at night during pupping season (which ended May 15).
  2. You support his actions to extend the rope to 152 feet and keep it up all year round.
  3. You support his actions to enforce the laws and cite people who harass the seals.

Here’s the recent nighttime harassment video:

Mayor Filner’s email address: bobfilner@sandiego.gov

An email example:

Mayor Filner,

I am sure that by now you have seen this video of two men intentionally flushing the seals at the Children’s Pool in La Jolla.

It is very hard to watch. The seals need and deserve a peaceful place to rest without fear of harassment. Over and over again, people deliberately flush the seals and disturb them in their own natural habitat. I beg you to close the beach now. There are many local beaches available for people to participate in water activities. This is the only beach in Southern California where people of all ages can view seals up close and in their natural habitat. It is an educational rather than recreational area and should be used for that purpose. Close the beach. Let people observe the seals (the number one reason why visitors come to Casa Beach) from the respectful distance of the sea wall and the side walk and behind the yellow guideline rope.

Please make an emergency decision to close the beach now! This cruel behavior by a few, which spoils an awesome experience for many, has got to stop.

Respectfully Yours,

If we speak out now we can make a difference. Thank you for your help with this.

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