Pinniped Dock Deterrence

Smith-Root sea lion and pinniped deterrence systems help owners protect their property from unwanted haul-outs by California sea lions, Steller sea lions, Pacific harbor seals, and other pinnipeds.

Ports, harbormasters, and property owners are granted authority under the Marine Mammal Protection Act to safely deter marine mammals, as long as such acts of deterrence do not result in the injury or mortality of a marine mammal.

Smith-Root develops and deploys innovative systems that safely and effectively deter marine mammals from docks, platforms, and other marine structures while allowing normal dock activities to occur. We understand the concerns of working with sensitive and iconic animals because Smith-Root equipment is safely used around the globe every day by conservation agencies on endangered and threatened species.

Smith-Root’s Pinniped Deterrence Systems (PDS) utilize engineered electronic pulses that veterinarians have labeled as safe and humane to all animal species. Moreover, the electronic pulses are nearly imperceptible to humans and the equipment is safe in human occupied areas.

Smith-Root offers two types of PDSs that are custom designed to meet the flexibility of the environments where they are deployed. We take into account a number of factors, including species of marine mammal to be deterred, areas to be protected, salt or fresh water, surface materials, and other factors. Additionally, the deterrence systems are designed to prevent electrolysis and stray currents, eliminating concern of damage to surrounding dock structures and vessels.

Most importantly, we understand budgetary constraints, and therefore we offer several installation options to meet multiple financial and installation capabilities. Smith-Root is fully equipped to provide installation labor; however, if onsite employees are available for installation, Smith-Root can reduce costs by sending one technician to install the control panel and perform a final inspection of the installed system.


Smith-Root has developed two systems that safely and effectively deter marine mammals from docks, platforms, and other marine structures while allowing normal activity to occur.

Dock Deterrence System

  • Thin stainless steel electrodes are secured to the top of the dock
  • Perfect for concrete, wood, plastic, fiberglass, or composite decking systems
  • Can be deployed in various lengths and widths
  • Allows normal human traffic
  • No possibility of stray current or electrolysis


Temporary/Mobile Deterrence System

  • Removable UV-resistant PVC mats with stainless steel electrodes
  • Can be deployed on curved or flat surfaces
  • Best for temporary applications or low traffic areas
  • Can be made in various lengths and widths
  • No possibility of stray current or electrolysis


Permitting Information (United States)

The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) allows deterrence of marine mammals for ports, harbormasters, and other property owners. Learn more about how our deterrence technology complies with federal guidelines for safely deterring marine mammals.

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