default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Half of SoCal sea lion pups have died this winter

NOAA has declared the death of half of the California sea lions born in rookeries of the Southern California coast this winter "an unusual mortality event." The number of starving sea lions washing up on LA County beaches is up more than 1,000 percent from 2012.

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, March 30, 2013 11:00 pm

Scientists say almost half of the sea lion pups born off the Southern California coast this winter have died, while hundreds of starving pups are washing ashore on beaches from San Diego to Santa Barbara, Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) reports. 

It is unclear what the problem is, whether it is an overpopulation of sea lions, a lack of food, disease, or some combination. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration classified the epidemic as an "unusual mortality event," which enables more scientists to search for the cause. 

The uptick in sea lion strandings began in January, and intensified in the last few weeks. The numbers of starving sea lions washing up on SoCal beaches is three times the historical average, with the worst of the problem occurring in Los Angeles County. 

Between Jan. 1 and March 24, 395 starving and undernourished sea lion pups were rescued from beaches in Los Angeles County by rescue groups. In 2012 over the same period, the number was 36. 

The crush is forcing Southern California rescue centers to send pups they cannot house to Northern California for rehabilitation, according to SCPR. 

In Malibu alone, the California Wildlife Center's Marine Mammal Rescue Team has rescued over 90 seal and sea lion pups over the past two and a half months, as well as more htan 80 birds covered in oil from local beaches. The animals being found are emaciated, or severely malnourished.

“They’re clearly not getting enough food,” said Victoria Harris, Interim Executive Director with the CWC.

Four emaciated sea lion pups were rescued less than three weeks ago by the Marine Mammal Response Team after they were found marooned on Malibu beaches. Jeff Hall, the marine mammal coordinator for the CWC, told a Malibu Times contributor that when the seals are thin they cannot keep warm in the water, so they go onto the beaches to rest and get warm in the sun.

If you see a struggling animal, the emergency hotline for the CWC is 310 458 - WILD (9453). Jeff Hall's numbers are 818 222-2658 and 310 924-7256.

Residents are urged to keep their dogs away from struggling sea lion or Elephant seal pups, as any injuries sustained from encounters can prove fatal. 

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Wiliardi Kotram posted at 5:45 am on Wed, Jul 1, 2015.

    wiliardikotram Posts: 342

    6L Stainless Steel construction, which minimizes the likelihood of stress cortan Harga besi plat bordes chekered plat 4 mm x 4' x 8' baca selengkapnya Harga Siku w about step vans but should is that the engine and transmissionfrom recycling c Jual Besi plat bordes chekered plat 4 mm x 4' x 8' Banjarmasin Harga Siku

  • Whaler31 posted at 2:26 pm on Sun, Mar 31, 2013.

    Whaler31 Posts: 21

    Sea Lion pups do not usually have this much difficulty. We have had rough times in the past, like during El Nino events, when their mothers natural food supply becomes scarce, but this is really big, and rather unusual.

    One thing that seems to be out of the equation (and the dialog), is the massive outflows of radioactive seawater from the Fukishima nuclear reactors and fuel rod storage pools for the past two years, all of which continue to spew this toxic waste into the Pacific Ocean. It is as if the problem just "went away".

    Truth is, that radioactive isotopes have reached Hawaii, California, Oregon, The Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea, all along the West Coast, even down to southern Baja, Mexico.

    Since some of these contaminants, like Cesium 138, have half-lives of 10,000 years, we should probably be a bit more curious!

    This alone, could explain the huge die-offs of Sea Lion pups this year.

    The Satellite images of this ocean plume, have been hard to find, but you can locate them on YouTube. It appears that "the powers that be", like NOAA, do not want the general public to see what (their tax-dollar paid for!) high-tech ocean monitoring satellites, are telling us.

    Why this is not in our discussions? Perhaps it is because the story has been abandoned by the mainstream media....?

    If that is the case, then it is up to smaller publications, like The Malibu Times, to carry the story forward. Here is part of the story:

    Bluefin Tuna samples from San Diego commercial fishing boats, have all be testing positive for Fukishima radiation. This means the bait-fish that feed on the radioactive photo-plankton, and are then fed on by the tunas, and are now reaching the humans, via consumption of this delectable treat, often as sushi or sashimi.

    What will come of the huge seafood chain of Alaska and it's environs, since they like to dine on similar ocean fare, it will soon tell the story. I am concerned that Alaskan Salmon and Halibut will surely be next to show up with significant radiation from the Fukishima disaster.

    This was all because of some very poor designs, of several nuclear reactors by-the-sea, in a well-known, tsunami-prone region of Japan. The facts are, the reactors held-up to the earthquake itself, but were knocked out by the tsunami.

    Folks in California should keep an eye on The San Onofre and Diablo Canyon nuclear plants-by-the-sea, of which have been having troubles with corrosion leaks lately.

    The "big event" 9.0+ Earthquake, is well known to geologists. It hits the West Coast every 350 years or so, and is written in the geological record.

    We are currently overdue for a major quake along the Cascadian plate fault-line of the Pacific Northwest. A 9.0 Quake will most likely cause a significant tsunami, that will hit not only low-lying areas, but these nuclear plants, as well.

    Malibu is lucky, in that it has many caring, longtime residents who live here, who happen to be deeply involved in the Hollywood "media machine" in one way, or another.

    We really need those talented folks, to help educate and inform the people, of the realities of poorly-maintained, 50 year old nuclear plants, and recurring natural disasters that are known to be coming. It is a 100% possibility, and we are overdue.

    Although they do not have to, it is really an obligation that goes along with the territory of extreme success, and power, is it not?