Letters/Online Comments

Reader Rant: Seals, Seals Everywhere — and Boaters Without Help

We need help!            

It is a long trip to get to our boat in Oceanside Harbor — and when we last did get to our boat, we found seals (six of them) on the dock beside our boat.            

Our boat was covered with seal dung — even up on top of the deck. They spray far and wide, and the smell — OMG! Then, we tried to sleep, with the seals barking all through the night. No sleep for us.            

I went to shoo the seals away, and one charged at me. Talk about being scared! If a child was charged by a seal and fell into the water, the seal could kill that child.            

The seals are climbing up on the boats here in the harbor, on the swim steps (busting many of them) and anywhere else they can — doing physical damage to the boats. And that’s not even talking about the smell and health issues of their defecating.            

The city of Oceanside has been told they have a seal problem. They have seen and are fully aware of the dangers, the damage (both to the boats and to the docks), the smell and the noise the sea lions are causing at the Oceanside Harbor. And the city is doing little, or is just ignoring the issue.            

The city of Oceanside just got over a $1 million raise from boat owners, after slip fee increases. We, as boat owners, feel we should be able to get some help, in the form of protection from the seals via cleanup and deterrent measures. After all, we are paying for it.            

The seals are defecating, urinating and spreading waste all over the boats here. The smell is getting far more than just foul, it is turning stomachs. Now, it is becoming a health issue.            

Part of this is caused by the commercial fishery cleaning and throwing their catch and scraps overboard while at the dock, which is attracting the seals in large numbers.            

The solution is simple: Stop the commercial fishery from cleaning and throwing their catch and scraps overboard while at the dock. Also, add small seal deterrents on the end of the fingers where the seal congregate.            

We ask the city of Oceanside to work with the marine mammal protection agencies to help us protect our lives and property.             I see many of the boat owners in Oceanside Harbor are putting up their own seal deterrents. But we (the boat owners) just gave Oceanside Harbor a $1 million raise, so why should the boat owners have to do this?            

We know of the sea lions taking over the docks (where there are no more boats) at Pier 39 in San Francisco, and taking over the beach in La Jolla — and there are lots more areas where the seals move in, the boats move out.            

We do not want to lose our slips, and I know the city of Oceanside does not want to lose the revenue it collects from boat owners. But if the seals win and take over our docks, the city and the boat owners loose.            

City of Oceanside, help us save our slips, our boats and your income. Merchants, remember that with no boats, there’s no business — and help us save the harbor.

Bob Smith
Oceanside Boater

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