The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) protects marine mammals including whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea lions. These marine mammals are protected from being hunted, captured, or killed with the exception of subsistance hunting by Alaska natives who live on the Alaskan coast. Here in Southern California, MMPA protects local marine mammals from harassment by limiting how close you can get on foot or on boat to these animals.
Marine mammals such as seals and sea lions often rest on the shore and sometimes leave their young on the beach to hunt – give them plenty of room so that the adults can pick up their little ones and return to the sea. For your safety, be sure to keep at least 100 feet away from a beached marine mammal. Report a stranded animal immediately if it appears injured or sick.