Conservation status of sea lions in Mexico
The California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) is distributed throughout the northeastern
Pacific, along the west coast of the Baja California Peninsula and within the entirety of the Gulf
It is a protected species under Mexican law, Official Mexican Norm NOM-059 ECOL 1994,
DOF16/05/1994, and is subject to special protection. The International Union for Conservation
of Nature (IUCN, 2014) has catalogued it within its red list of threatened species as a species of
Why do sea lions become entangled in nets?
The term entanglement applies when a wildlife specimen, which is not the subject of
commercial fishing, becomes trapped in a fishing line or net, or when remains of these become
attached to the specimen’s body. The same happens with floating refuse or plastic flotsam.
Sea lion entanglement is a problem which frequently occurs worldwide, as a result of the
animal’s interaction with fisheries, as they share the same areas.
Entangled individuals often drown or escape with a piece of line or netting tangled around their
bodies. Injuries caused by these become worse over time, especially when the sea lions
become entangled in early stages of their development; as the specimens mature, the lines
tighten around the bodies, cutting and strangling, causing permanent pain and, in some cases,
leading to an early death.
We conduct monitoring and vigilance at both the Espírito Santo Archipelago National Marine
Park and the Balandra Flora and Fauna Protected Area, as well as other natural Protected
Areas, where we hold campaigns to disentangle the sea lions. During the campaigns, tissue
samples are taken for scientific investigation. We also train the different authorities and citizen
groups on the disentanglement through remote sedation technique.