Several hundred sick sea lions wash ashore California
A record number of sick sea lions washed ashore in California for a second year in a row, dropping a strong hint that the marine mammal is facing severe problems in the ocean.
In the five months through May 31 this year, a total of 367 sea lions washed ashore north of San Francisco and admitted to the Marine Mammal Center. The figure is nearly five times higher than the average. Another 600 sea lions washed ashore to Southern California.
Biologists say that human activities in the world's oceans, such as overfishing, have caused various problems for the marine life.
Shawn Johnson, veterinary science director at the Marine Mammal Center, said, "Sea lions are living and feeding on the same resource as humans are. If they are starting to have problem, that indicates there could be a problem with the ocean."
Climate change, which has shifted ocean currents, could also be the reason behind the problem as it is moving the sea lions' food sources farther away. The majority of the troubled sea lions washing ashore are pups, which might have been abandoned by their mothers due to lack of food.
Increasing levels of toxicity in the oceans could also be playing a role in the rising number of sea lions washing ashore.
Sea lions are not the only marine creatures that have been distressed by human activities. Many other marine animals, such as Alaskan ice seals, bottlenose dolphins and whales, are also suffering due to lack of food and various human activities.
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