According to NOAA, "the deepest dive ever recorded for a California sea lion is 1,760 ft (536 m); the longest dive ever recorded was 12 minutes." It's not unusual for Malibu beachgoers to see a sea lion pop up and watch them, then disappear and reappear a few minutes later in the same place.
California sea lions males—easy to identify because they are much larger, sometimes weighing more than 1000 pounds, are polygamous, living with a harem of as many as 14 females. They are apex predators, who eat fish and squid, and are preyed on only by great white sharks, killer whales and humans.
Sea lions are opportunists, who are happy to take advantage of baited fishing lines or the full nets of the squid fishery. California sea lions, like all marine mammals, are protected from human intervention by the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act, but according to the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro, CA, as much as 20 percent of all sea lion cases that arrive at the non-profit organization's treatment facility are there because of damage caused by humans. Sea lions injest garbage, become entangled in monofilament fishing line and nets or, in a small number of cases they are shot, like the four sea lions that were found dead in Malibu with bullet wounds this year.
Most Malibuites and beach visitors are glad to share the coast with sea lions. On Point Dume, the "sea wolves" can be heard barking at night. It's part of what makes this community special, and remarkable and worth fighting for and preserving.