Sea Lion Chases Down Fast-Moving Boat for a Fish


You’ve heard the saying that there are plenty of fish in the sea. While this statement may carry some weight as a metaphor for dating, it’s not as accurate in areas where sea lions have to compete with fisherman for food. Unfortunately, heavily fished areas within sea lion habitats have led to a decrease in the population of this lovable animal. Maybe that’s why some sea lions are looking to other methods of getting their food. This particular sea lion, for example, is swimming behind a fishing boat in an effort to get on board and snag a recently caught fish. The fishermen are happy to accommodate the animal’s desire for food when they see it swimming behind the boat at a remarkable speed.

Sea Lion Comes Aboard Fast-Moving Boat for a Fish

How Fast Can They Swim?

To minimize resistance and gain speed, sea lions actually glide on top of the water. In contrast to seals, who propel themselves with their hind flippers, sea lions use their large front flippers to swim and their hind flippers for steering. Because of the unique way they swim, sea lions are able to easily surf in front of waves. A sea lion can cruise at a speed of around 11 miles per hour, but can reach speeds of as fast as 25 mph in short bursts. This is about 7 mph faster than the top speed of a seal, and about 20 mph faster than the fastest human swimmer.


How Fast Is a Fishing Boat?

A fishing boat’s top speed obviously depends on the motor its equipped with along with its size, material, and design. A fishing boat with just one small motor may be able to hit a top speed of 10 or 20 mph, which means a sea lion could outrun it. Most offshore fishing boats are equipped with 2 engines. With twin 150-horsepower engines, you’re probably looking at a top speed of close to 30 mph. Go up to twin 350-hp motors and you could likely go as fast as 45 mph. This boat is probably somewhere in that neighborhood and would have a cruising speed of around 25 or 30 mph. Considering the boat appears to be equipped with 2 powerful motors, it’s pretty impressive that the sea lion can keep up with it at its cruising speed.

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