Sea Lion Pups are Washing Up on Beaches in California
It is so sad to see that Sea Lion pups are washing up on the beaches in California. There have been more than 2000 sea lion pups that have washed ashore this year alone. The reason they are coming up to shore is because the water is warmer. “Scientists believe warmer coastal waters force the prey of sea lions — squid and sardines, for example — deeper beneath the ocean’s surface. Then nursing sea lion mothers must look further afield for food, leaving their pups for longer than normal. Deprived of sustenance and weakened, the pups limply wash ashore.” (source Washington Post)
Also, another reason that they are starving is the overfishing along the US Coastline. “According to the Pacific Fishery Management Council, chronic overfishing has caused sardine numbers in U.S. waters to fall by an estimated 90 percent since 2007 . . . .authorities are considering imposing a widespread ban on harvesting the species.” (source Time.com). I am hoping the ban is passed, so we will not continue to see these animals suffer.
It is not uncommon to see them at our local beaches, and visitors think they are cute and approach them and attempt to take photos, touch them or try to move them with a stick. Lifeguards have been informed to take a photo and send the location of the Sea Lion pup to Marine Mammal Rescue Centers. Sadly though, many of these rescue organizations are full, and they cannot take any more. They are often malnourished and dehydrated. The sea lion below is at the base of a lifeguard tower in Huntington Beach. They look so sad.
What can you do? You can donate to the Marine Mammal Center and they also have a wish list of items that they need in order to help to take care of these sea lions.
Please if you are visiting one of California Beaches, and encounter a sea lion, please:
1. Do not touch, try to pick up, feed the animal or pour water on it.
2. Do not try and return it to the water.
3. Keep at least 50′ away and keep your dogs away from it too, they are scared and sick.
4. Notify a lifeguard as they have been instructed in who to contact or contact a local Marine Mammal Center.
Also, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center has a wish list. They need things like unflavored pedialyte, gas cards (to pick them up) paper towels, and Dawn liquid soap.