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Harbor Seals

Harbor Seals

You can see the harbor seals resting in the sunshine in a sheltered cove west of the Hopkins Marine Station. The Hopkins Marine Station beach is on private property that is owned by Stanford University and are therefore off-limits to the general public. There are lookout points behind a fence to observe and take pictures.  

Harbor seals have been visiting Pacific Groves local beaches for decades and in March and April, female harbor seals give birth and nurse their babies. During this time beaches are off-limits to the public, but you can stop by to view the seals and their seal pups just behind the fencing.

After a pup is born, the mother will leave the pup on the beach while she forages for food. Unfortunately, humans mistakenly believe that these pups have been abandoned and will approach, touch, or even take pups away from the beach. These human interactions with seals and their pups are harmful and often results in injury or death.

Seals are protected under The Marine Mammal Act of 1972, making it illegal and punishable by law to "take" marine mammals without a permit. Harassing a marine mammal, or causing any change in its behavior, is considered a "take" under this law.