Hatfield Marine Scientists have hung a live, internet connected camera at Port Dock 1 to keep an eye on the Sea Lion Dock that the Bayfront business community is in the process of upgrading. You can get an “up to the minute” view of how many sea lions are on the dock and what they’re doing. The camera refreshes every minute, so it’s not TV, but it’s nearly ‘real time’ photo.
According to HMSC scientists, California sea lions frequently make use of this haul out while visiting Yaquina Bay. During the summer months they head south to the Channel Islands off southern California to breed. Throughout the rest of the year adult and sub-adult males can often be found in the waters around Newport and throughout the Pacific Northwest.
This camera is monitored by the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network to check for injuries due to entanglements in fishery gear and marine debris. Sea lions periodically come ashore with plastic packing bands wrapped around their necks and fishing lures hanging from their mouths. A capture cage is sometimes deployed at this site to treat entangled sea lions.
The floating docks used by the sea lions are now owned and maintained by a local non-profit group, the Newport Sea Lion Docks Foundation. They are expected to begin driving piling for supporting a permanent dock arrangement on the water. Also new pilings to shore up the dock above which will be expanded to accommodate a larger viewing area – more over the water so as to stay out of the way of commercial fishing activities which normally engage Port Dock 5. The Sea Lion Dock Foundation announced recently that they expect to get the viewing project completed in about 18 months to two years.
To link to the semi-live sea lion camera, just click here. The url is www.Webcam.OregonState.Edu/Sealion.