Sea lion pups dying from starvation

An overabundance of sea lion pups and an apparent lack of food has local animal rescuers racing to save them. Full Story
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JFS

Pahoa, HI

#1 Jun 16, 2009
I've surfed and fished off Santa Cruz and the general bay area all my life. I went fishing out of the harbor in May and noticed there were more Sealions than I ever remember.

I counted 50 hanging around the one mile light.

No wonder there's a lack of fish...

Seems in the old days "someone" thinned the population of Sealions. Too many of them now.
Jim

Menlo Park, CA

#4 Jun 16, 2009
They hang out in the mouth of the San Lorenzo and eat steelhead. Elkhorn slough is just jam packed with them along the shoreline.
politicsasusual

Santa Cruz, CA

#5 Jun 16, 2009
Yeah, the fishing and water pollution had nothing to do with the lack of fish.

Since: May 08

Santa Cruz, CA

#6 Jun 16, 2009
It wouldn't surprise me at all if this is due to a natural cycle - just as the anchovies leaving (and then returning) to Monterey Bay was.

Nature is full of boom and bust cycles.

Eco-whackos are convinced, however, that every population increase or decrease must be due to people. Stop being so narcissistic.
WS Native

Denver, CO

#7 Jun 16, 2009
Are you kidding me. Why would anyone think "rescuing" these pups is a good idea.
Too many sea lions

Concord, CA

#9 Jun 16, 2009
Stop saving them, it is nature's way to keep the seaq lion population under control.
TAR

Felton, CA

#10 Jun 16, 2009
This comment stream is another prime example of why it's probably too late to try and 'educate' the masses. Yes, status-quo-promoters, larger numbers of seals and sealions here at shoreline can be indicative of problems out in the deeper waters, many or most of which are caused by and/or exasperated by Us. As can be seen in the mouth of the Columbia for the past several years, seals and sea lions go where the food is, and since it's not where it used to be, they're now converging closer to shore and river mouths and other areas frequented by a particular species narcissistic enough to think it owns the whole damn planet (which makes them appear to be greater in number). They do NOT need culling; but perhaps WE do. If ever Nature needed to do some trimming of the top predator, it's now. Stop deflecting cognitive dissonance.
Publican

San Francisco, CA

#11 Jun 16, 2009
john doe wrote:
<quoted text>
Not any more. The enviro-wackos have given them the same kind of protection as the bald eagle. Shooting sea lions has been a federal felony since 1972. Too bad if they steal your fish. Go hungry. Go out of the commercial fishig business too. The people (who run the US government) don't care if you live or die...
Overfishing might have some bearing on the lack of fish lately. I do sympathize with the plight of professional fishermen, but you've got to admit that the profession has not been handled in a sustainable manner, and the prevalence of "sport" fishermen also has an impact.

Listen, we are taking food from the sea lion population, not the other way around. they eat what they are able to eat, while humans take an incredibly inordinate volume of food out of the ocean. You blame the sea lions for doing what is in their nature? That is like the sea lions blaming us for breathing all the air.

Trying to blame sea lions for the decline of fisheries is dumb. There are many factors involved.
FIREWORKS FOREVER

United States

#12 Jun 16, 2009
TAR wrote:
This comment stream is another prime example of why it's probably too late to try and 'educate' the masses. Yes, status-quo-promoters, larger numbers of seals and sealions here at shoreline can be indicative of problems out in the deeper waters, many or most of which are caused by and/or exasperated by Us. As can be seen in the mouth of the Columbia for the past several years, seals and sea lions go where the food is, and since it's not where it used to be, they're now converging closer to shore and river mouths and other areas frequented by a particular species narcissistic enough to think it owns the whole **** planet (which makes them appear to be greater in number). They do NOT need culling; but perhaps WE do. If ever Nature needed to do some trimming of the top predator, it's now. Stop deflecting cognitive dissonance.
N. korea has plan to do just that. SF and LA the favored culling areas. Good luck to all.
Stay away from the water

Petaluma, CA

#14 Jun 16, 2009
Sea lion overpopulation is caused by the people who think they're protecting wildlife. They want to play God and now look what they've done. Julie Packard and MBARI should be ashamed for all the harm they have caused the oceans and those who depend on the ocean. They want to protect everything from us humans. They want to change what nature has established for millions of years. It's just starting now with the starvation phase. Soon disease will set in and we will have a sea lion flu within a year or two. Once the flu has begun we're going to have an open season on sealions. Mad cow disease... millions of cows were shot and buried. Bird flu... millions were killed and buried. Swine flu... you get the idea. Hippy flu... now we're talkin!
Bettina

Santa Barbara, CA

#16 Jun 16, 2009
The fish, birds and sea lions all do best during the most 'average' years, to which they are adapted. During extreme years, there is either little plankton growth for the fish (typically warm, el nino), or it all is carried offshore to the shelf edge during cold la nina years which have very strong upwelling
Old Biology major

United States

#17 Jun 16, 2009
Their theory is off. We aren't having an El Nino effect this year and the ocean tempoerature has actually been below normal this past year. I know because I surf and I watch and feel the water temps almost every day! The marine biologists are at a loss. It isn't global warming! So, let's see what the official spin will be! Darwins Theory of Evolution, the base line of Liberal Progressiveness for over a century might now admit the die off of the overpopulation of sea lions is a naturally occuring phenomena! Too many animals for too little available food sources. Happens to all animal species on the planet in mostly irregular cycles. The biologists know it, it has been documented repeatedly and is completely observable but the progressives can't handle the reality! It's life! Accept it!
Volunteer

Aromas, CA

#18 Jun 16, 2009
TAR wrote:
If ever Nature needed to do some trimming of the top predator, it's now. Stop deflecting cognitive dissonance.
I suppose you'd be willing to have nature start with you?
wildman

Santa Cruz, CA

#20 Jun 16, 2009
Sometimes it is OK to mess with Mother Nature, and sometimes it is not. Who decides these things?
naturescycle

Ripon, CA

#21 Jun 16, 2009
hey TAR, I believe you need a lot of feathers, since your idea is for the birds! The problem is there are too many pups, and not enough food. Humans did not cause that to happen. Nature's normal cycle did. Also, sea lions and seals don't need protection and feeding to save their population. Leave things alone! Everytime "man" interferes it only gets worse and new problems crop up, with the original problem ongoing. We're so smart we're stupid...educated idiots don't help.
mark j

San Francisco, CA

#22 Jun 16, 2009
There are animals in Monterey Bay? I was under the impression the ocean was here for us to dump our sewage in, and act as a backdrop for our huge fireworks displays. And while we depend upon tourism for our economy, we can abuse the environment any way we want.
If the sea lions don't like it, let them go back where they came from!
Monterey has banned firework displays over the Bay, and Santa Cruz hasn't. It is a sacrifice they make to protect the Bay.
If we ever lose protection for our Bay, we could be in line for oil exploration. The sea lions are the canary in the coal mine. We need to see the big picture.
And finally, to you folks who post 'humorous' posts. 1. They are not funny. 2. They help no one.
3.Get a life.
some dude

San Jose, CA

#23 Jun 16, 2009
Why is it that scientists feel the need to go mess with nature? Either by helping these animals along or by removing the dead ones? This is a sad, but necessary, part of the cycle of life.
Bait balls

Santa Cruz, CA

#24 Jun 16, 2009
Everytime a bait ball of fry fish appears near the Municipal Pier the bait fisherman from the harbor boats over and scoops up the whole school. Maybe if net fishing so close to the pier was enforced by the Fish and Game some of these bait balls would feed the young seal lions.
Sinbad

Fairfield, CA

#25 Jun 16, 2009
I'm going surfing today, but first stopping for a few dozen burritos!
Park Visitor

Moraga, CA

#26 Jun 16, 2009
At Seacliff State Beach last week, some idiot camper took a sealion pup off the beach and had it in the bath tub in his RV. The Rangers had Marine Mammal Rescue come and get it. This guy thought he could keep it like a pet. He was from Lodi.

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