California Sea Lion

California sea lion hauled out on shore.

About The Species

California sea lions are members of the "eared seal" family. They are commonly seen doing acrobatic tricks in shows at zoos and aquariums. California sea lions reside in the Eastern North Pacific Ocean in shallow coastal and estuarine (where the river meets the sea) waters. They like to haul out (temporarily leave the water) on sandy beaches, marina docks, jetties, and buoys.

Like all marine mammals, California sea lions are protected under Marine Mammal Protection Act.

NOAA Fisheries is committed to conserving and protecting the California sea lions. Our scientists and partners use a variety of innovative techniques to study, learn more about, and protect this species.

Learn more about California sea lions


MMPA Protected

throughout its range

Scientific Classification