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Port employs air dancers to drive away sea lion squatters

Inflatable, pliable creatures try to scare pinnipeds at the East End Mooring Basin.

The Daily Astorian

Published on March 17, 2016 10:31AM

Last changed on March 17, 2016 1:35PM

Sea Lions and harbor seals dive off the docks of the East End Mooring Basin after crews from the Port of Astoria inflated air dancers in an attempt to scare the pinnipeds this morning.

Joshua Bessex/The Daily Astorian

Sea Lions and harbor seals dive off the docks of the East End Mooring Basin after crews from the Port of Astoria inflated air dancers in an attempt to scare the pinnipeds this morning.

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Jose Delgado, with the Port of Astoria, sets up an inflatable air dancer on a dock in the East End Mooring Basin today.

Joshua Bessex/The Daily Astorian

Jose Delgado, with the Port of Astoria, sets up an inflatable air dancer on a dock in the East End Mooring Basin today.

Buy this photo
Sea Lions and harbor seals hang out at the East End Mooring Basin before crews from the Port of Astoria inflated air dancers in an attempt to scare the pinnipeds this morning.

Joshua Bessex/The Daily Astorian

Sea Lions and harbor seals hang out at the East End Mooring Basin before crews from the Port of Astoria inflated air dancers in an attempt to scare the pinnipeds this morning.

Buy this photo
Sea Lions and harbor seals dive off the docks of the East End Mooring Basin after crews from the Port of Astoria inflated air dancers in an attempt to scare them away this morning.

Joshua Bessex/The Daily Astorian

Sea Lions and harbor seals dive off the docks of the East End Mooring Basin after crews from the Port of Astoria inflated air dancers in an attempt to scare them away this morning.

Buy this photo
Sea Lions and harbor seals hang out on the docks of the East End Mooring Basin before crews from the Port of Astoria inflated air dancers in an attempt to scare them away this morning.

Joshua Bessex/The Daily Astorian

Sea Lions and harbor seals hang out on the docks of the East End Mooring Basin before crews from the Port of Astoria inflated air dancers in an attempt to scare them away this morning.

Buy this photo

Inflatable air dancers, staples of used car lots and mattress stores nationwide, were given new a purpose along the docks of the East End Mooring Basin.

The Port of Astoria used a handful of the nylon, tube-shaped dancers to scare sea lions and harbor seals off the dock Thursday morning.

As the colorful cartoonish creatures filled with air, sea lions and harbor seals in the immediate vicinity quickly took to the water while other sea lions, just one dock over, stayed put.

“Our suspicion is that this is just temporary,” said Jim Knight, executive director of the Port, standing on the east basin causeway overlooking the air dancers. “But off to my left is Knappa High School students installing the first section of rails, which will be the permanent solution.”

Student welders from Knappa will fabricate steel railings to line the Port docks, which Knight said has proven effective in other ports at keeping sea lions off docks.

Video online at www.dailyastorian.com









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