Effort to Capture Sea Lion at Berkeley Marina Called Off

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday May 16, 2006

After Thursday’s futile attempts to capture the sea lion that attacked three people at the Berkeley Marina last week, the Marine Mammal Center along with the Office of Enforcement of the Marine Mammal Protection Act decided against any more capture attempts for the time being. 

Norm Simmons, special agent from the Office of Enforcement, told the Daily Planet that aversive conditioning would be used for treating the sea lion. 

“The fishermen have been asked to spray water on it with a hose whenever it appears anywhere near the fishing boats,” he said. “That’s the best way to distance it from the piers and prevent any further incidents. We are hoping that with the start of the mating season in a couple of weeks, it will leave the marina and go somewhere else or that its behavior will change.” 

Simmons also said that might alter the seal’s behavior and that the fishermen were being allowed to do it because they were the ones in close contact with it. 

“We hope that this will keep it from posing any other hazard to the public so that euthanizing it can be avoided,” he said. 

Simmons said that the Berkeley Marina harbor master Ann Hardinger had closed the pier gates to the public and only fishermen from commercial fishing charters were being allowed in.