San Francisco sees rare sea lion spike

An anchovy boom has brought vast numbers to Fisherman’s Wharf

Sea lions have been a popular tourist attraction in San Francisco since 1989, when they started gathering at Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf. But recently they’ve been showing up in numbers not seen in 15 years. Biologists say a spike in anchovies, which the California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) eat, has brought more than 1,000 pinnipeds to the harbor.

It’s all about the food,” said Pier 39 harbormaster Sheila Chandor. “A very good way to put it is they are fueling up for the mating season. It’s spring. They are ready to rock and roll down in the Channel Islands, and we’re a nice pit stop with some great seafood.”

Read more from the Associated Press.

Header Image: Vast numbers of sea lions have appeared at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Credit: nedursley via iNaturalist