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California sea lions feed on a wide variety of seafood, mainly squid and fish; sometimes even clams. Commonly eaten fish and squid species include salmon, hake, Pacific whiting, anchovies, herring, schooling fish, rock fish, lamprey, dog fish, and market squid. They feed mostly around the edge of the continental shelf as well as sea mounts, the open ocean and the ocean bottom.
California sea lions are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act in the United States. However their population has been increasing and conflicts with humans and other wildlife has increased. California sea lions have damaged docks and boats (which, given a sufficient number of sea lions, can actually sink under the sheer weight of the basking animals), stolen fish from commercial boats, and have attacked and injured swimmers in San Francisco Bay. Because of this, they have been shot at by locals and fishermen.