Criteria for release are established by National Marine Fisheries Service. Parameters for release include weight gain, resolution of medical conditions that caused the animal to become stranded, ability to compete for food, blood parameters, and an overall assessment of the animal’s readiness to return to the ocean.
Release criteria at the beach include an assessment of tide, weather and wave conditions. While animals are expected to be able to navigate the ocean environment upon release, we take into consideration the fact that for young animals a brief transition period may occur when returning to the ocean.
Occasionally a seal or sea lion is unable to feed itself due to blindness or other mobility issue. Thus, MMCC LA works with National Fisheries Service to find a long-term home for this type of dependent patient.
Donors can support the release of a healthy patient back into the ocean, or a dependent patient finding a new home. Please review information on how to Associate Your Name With Our Mission.
Released seals and sea lions have been sighted as far away as San Diego to the south and Monterey, Marin and Humboldt counties to the north.