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Sea lion stench in San Diego: Shooting La Jolla sea lions so businesses profit?

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The sea lion stench along La Jolla's coastline in San Diego has become so bad that business are losing money. But getting rid of the sea lion stench is proving to be harder than imagined since washing off the rocks has shown to be insufficient, reported the San Diego Union Tribune on Dec. 26, 2013.

“Elsewhere along California’s coast, communities with high numbers of sea lions have employed a variety of methods over the years — legal and illegal — to disperse the animals or control the smell of their poop. Those include falconry, spraying water at the sea lions, shooting them and blaring certain sounds in designated harbors. There has even been consideration of using electrical systems that deliver a low-voltage shock.”

As always, there are two sides to every argument.

Business owners, including restaurants, hotels, and shops in La Jolla have joined to sue the city of San Diego because the smell of the sea lions is driving away customers, and businesses are losing their profits. “Last Friday, Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement filed suit in San Diego Superior Court regarding the stench from sea-lion excrement. The group, established this month, consists of La Valencia Hotel and the restaurant George’s at the Cove.“ Business owners do not want money from the city but action.

Unlike the business owners, La Jolla’s sea lions, joined by seals, and the equally smelly pelicans, care very little about the businesses. The animals’ daily business is to eat, excrete, to bathe in the sun, and to enjoy a protected habitat. For those who have never been to San Diego’s La Jolla coastline, it is one of the most memorable trips anyone can take.

Along the shores of La Jolla one finds miles of rocky shores, sandy beaches, gorgeous waves, a pristine and serene park, La Jolla Cove with splashing water, tide pools that strive with sea life, the Scripps Aquarium and Research Center, and immense stretches of protected underwater and above water ocean life. On any given day, La Jolla’s coastline is filled with visitors exploring the tide pools, swimmers bathing in protected areas, surfers enjoying the waves, kayakers paddling out in the ocean, and divers exploring the underwater sea life – accompanied by sea lions.

The natural beauty of La Jolla and everything that La Jolla’s pristine coastline has to offer is drawing millions of visitors to San Diego every year. Many of those visitors come because of the sea lions, seals, and the pelicans. If businesses get what they want, driving away the sea lions, seals, and pelicans -- will they also drive away their customers?

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