Numerous sea lions and dolphins have been found either dead or ill, acting strangely, along the Southern California coasts. This is a frightening scene. According to recent CNN reporting, over 1,000 calls about sick, dying, and dead marine creatures that werehed ashore from Santa Barbara to San Diego County were made to the authorities in the last two weeks.
It is thought that the widespread poisonous algal bloom that is thriving in the coastal waters is responsible for this alarming situation.
One of the highest numbers of sick or dead animals in recent memory, according to Justin Greenman, a stranding coordinator with NOAA Fisheries, is overwhelming specialists. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as though this upsetting situation will soon come to an end.
A “one of the largest in memory” flood of dead or ill animals, according to Greenman. It’s entirely overwhelming, he declared.
Specialists in marine biology have determined that the toxic algal bloom is most likely to blame, although they are still awaiting test results to validate this theory. Domoic acid, a neurotoxic produced by the Pseudo-Nietzsche alga, is the culprit. Following consumption, this toxin may be harmful to fish and seabirds before moving up the food chain to impact larger marine animals like dolphins, sea lions, and, maybe, people. Humans can get sick from eating domoic acid-contaminated food even if seafood is thoroughly inspected to prevent contamination. In light of this, the California Department of Health issued a specific warning against consuming “sport-harvested mussels, clams, or scallops from Santa Barbara County” due to elevated toxin levels.
As specialists continue to monitor and research the magnitude of the harmful algal bloom and its effects on marine life in Southern California, the situation is still troubling. In order to ensure the security and welfare of both wildlife and people in the area, efforts are being made to better understand and prevent this unpleasant situation.