Record Numbers Of Seals & Sea Lions ‘Starving To Death’ Along California Coast – ‘So Many Unhealthy … Washing Ashore’

Alarm as record numbers of seals & sea lions ‘starving to death’ along California coast — “It’s just spiked… calls started coming nonstop” — “So many unhealthy… washing ashore” — “Extremely complex issue… multitude of factors in play” — “Definitely a mystery, we’re hoping it’s not the new norm” (ENENews, May 4, 2014):

Orange County Register, May 2, 2014: Sea lions are […] washing ashore, many of them pups dehydrated, malnourished and on the brink of death. The year started off quieter than last year, and the Pacific Marine Mammal Center’s director of development, Melissa Sciacca, thought they were in the clear – until about a month ago, when the calls started coming in nonstop. […] “We thought it was going to be a nice calm year; in the last month it’s just spiked,” she said. “The rescues just keep coming in at a steady pace.” It’s the second year stranded sea lions have been reported in alarming numbers. […] Last year, scientists tested for radioactivity, and it was determined that wasn’t the cause, and infectious disease was also ruled out.

San Francisco Chronicle, May 3, 2014: Young seals, sea lions starving in record numbers — Rescuers are scrambling to save a record number of young sea lions and seals along California’s northern and central coast while scientists work to understand why the animals are beaching themselves […] The emaciated and dehydrated pups are turning up along the 600 miles of coastline from Mendocino to San Luis Obispo monitored by the Marine Mammal Center. Many are too weak to move after washing ashore […] As of Wednesday, the center had brought in 429 California sea lions, elephant seals, harbor seals and fur seals this year. That’s well above the 291 animals admitted by the same date last year […] Southern California witnessed an almost 70 percent die-off of young sea lions – those born in summer 2012 – near the Channel Islands, where most American sea lions breed.

Sharon Melin, NOAA biologist: “In 2013, it was only the young animals that tried to do it on their own […] this year there’s lots of stranding going on, but those are a different age-class of pups.”

Dr. Shawn Johnson, Marine Mammal Center: “The ones we are seeing are basically starving to death […] It’s definitely a mystery. We’re hoping it’s not the new norm.”

Coastline Pilot, May 1, 2014: “In the last month we’ve seen the rescues spike,” [Pacific Marine Mammal Center’s Keith Matassa] said. […] Researchers are still trying to determine why so many unhealthy sea lions are washing ashore. “The reasons behind the animal strandings are an extremely complex issue,” Matassa said. “Although there is a leading theory that their food source is playing a significant role, there are a multitude of factors that come in to play.”

“Starving to death”? From last week: SF Chronicle: “Unbelievable hordes” of fish near California coast; Most birds, sea lions, dolphins, whales anywhere — Expert: ‘Off the charts’ pelican population “highly unusual… could reflect breeding failures elsewhere”; “Abnormal o

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SF Chronicle: ‘Unbelievable hordes’ of fish near California coast; Most birds, sea lions, dolphins, whales anywhere – Expert: ‘Off the charts’ pelican population ‘highly unusual… could reflect breeding failures elsewhere’

NBC: Record level of sick or injured California seals and sea lions turning up – ‘The numbers are extraordinary’ – ‘Scientists worried… The worst kind of perfect storm’ – Pups should be weighing 2 or 3 times as much, ‘severely malnourished’

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3 thoughts on “Record Numbers Of Seals & Sea Lions ‘Starving To Death’ Along California Coast – ‘So Many Unhealthy … Washing Ashore’”

  1. I saw the most disgusting spin on this story I have ever seen on the headline of the Sonoma County Press Democrat………(northern CA)
    It said to “enjoy the rare sightings of the humpback whale, sea lions, dolphins, etc. It said the sight of these animals was “very rare” and people should show their children”…….
    I about threw up.
    These animals are here because this is the last part of the Pacific Ocean where these animals can get enough oxygen to breathe……this is really bad news. It tells me my calculations the Pacific had until the end of 2015 was overly optimistic…….these animals are starved and sick already….and they are here in a last desperate attempt to live.
    Does anyone else realize the portend of a dead ocean? The vulture animals that normally eat the dead animals won’t touch these, they can smell the radioactive difference, and won’t go near them.
    There are no services in place to clean up these dead animals, no warning signs to tell people to stay away…..the stench will be unbearable.
    I always wanted to live on the beach, made it as far as a coastal rainforest, very close, but protects one’s cars from the salt. Unfortunately, plutonium and cesium collects in trees, it is 5X as radioactive as the cities where the streets and walkways are washed every few days.
    To all my good friends who live on the ocean, get out. Soon, nobody will want to go to the beach, let alone live there.
    This nightmare is unfolding faster than I thought it would.
    Already, there is trash from Japan collecting on US beaches, soon there will be dead animals. Nobody is trained or clothed to dispose of them…..and there is no system in place for people to rid us of them.
    This is really terrible news for the west coast.
    A few months ago, hundreds of dead sea turtles washed ashore in Costa Rica. Dogs raced to eat them, and died instantly. That tells me the radioactive poisons are far stronger than we are being told, and the danger is much higher.
    Those of us on the west coast are going to die very soon.
    I remember when the fanatics used to say CA would fall into the ocean when I was a small child. They were wrong, but CA will be the first unlivable state, along with OR, WA, Alaska……..etc.

  2. One other note, although I am no bible nut, I have read it twice cover to cover. First was to win arguments with fool religious fanatics, second was due to my theology classes in my last year of college 1978-79.
    Much of what I am seeing here is biblical. I have never taken the bible literally, and am shocked at some of the resemblances. I would never have dreamed it.
    The stories are far older than the bible, they are part of Oral Tradition carried through the centuries by the story tellers. Every religion has had a violent end, a resurrection and ascension. Every religion had a trinity…….
    I don’t take it literally now, but there are lessons there, and it looks like we are facing some terrible times. Without a live ocean, millions will die……..the radiation from Fukushima, Hanford, WA, New Mexico, and San Diego darn need assure the death of all in CA and OR.
    This is so depressing. We have fools in power, and no way to get rid of them……..
    We are finished, and few of these fools seem to realize it. It will take 50 years? We don’t have 50 years…….we are lucky if we have 5 years.

  3. I happened upon a young sea lion tonight, 3 jetties North of the Balboa Pier (not the one with the Ruby’s), who was moving very slowly away from the surf, on the sand of the beach. He appeared ill, in that he barely reacted to my coming within five feet of him. I could get him to turn towards the water but not to advance into it. And when I withdrew he turned slowly toward land and began moving inward again. Not exactly a pup, about 22 inches from nose to rump.

    I asked several people who to contact about this, but no one offered any suggestions. He’s still out there, and it appears he’s in trouble, if anyone who knows who to contact is monitoring this.


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