People will argue - “it’s because of global warming”; “it’s because of Fukushima radiation.
This is typical western, reductionistic thinking
If you want to reduce is to a single cause it is due to human overreach
Here’s why hundreds of starving sea lion pups are washing ashore in California
26 February, 2015
Sick, starving and dying sea lion pups are washing up on the shores of California in record numbers this year. In 2015, 940 young sea lions have turned up, officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said last week — four times the number California would normally see. But why?
Experts say it’s the warm water. 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.
“By the time they reach the mainland, they are so starved that they are basically shutting down,” Michael Remski, marine mammal rehabilitation manager for the California Wildlife Center told Yahoo News. According to the Associated Press, 300,000 sea lions live between the Mexican border and Washington state, and this is the third year straight that a high number of pups have died or become stranded. The deaths were so high in 2013 that experts declared an “unusual mortality event” for the species.
The influx of stranded sea lions has put a strain on animal shelters, some seeing record numbers of rescues.“It’s the highest number I’ve had in 29 years of rescues. … We get like 50 calls a day on sea lions,” Wallerstein said. “We rescued four today [even though] we are limited to three a day because the rehab center is so full. We had to leave some adults on the beach. It’s like a paramedic not having a hospital to bring a patient.”
On Tuesday, Getty photographer Justin Sullivan spent a day at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. The center said it’s in the middle of the crisis.