Skip to comments.Natural toxin in algae (domoic acid -- neurotoxin) kills sea lions
Posted on 05/31/2005 8:48:15 PM PDT by FairOpinion
SANTA MONICA Three dead sea lions washed ashore on several beaches Monday after getting sick from a natural toxin released by algae.
That brings the total number of sea lions washing ashore in recent days to eight, though the previous five were still alive.
Those animals, some of whom were pregnant, were being nursed back to health by the nonprofit group Whale Rescue Team after they were found ashore in Playa Del Rey, Venice, Santa Monica and Will Rogers State beaches in recent weeks.
The dead sea lions washed up at Cabrillo and White Point beaches in San Pedro.
Peter Wallerstein, a spokesman for the rescue group, said it appeared the sea lions were victims of domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by an algae that has sickened dozens of sea mammals off the Southern California coast in recent years. It attacks the nervous system and causes seizures.
"In 20 years, this is the hardest thing I've seen," Wallerstein said, "the look in the eyes of these sea lions while those neurotoxins are exploding in their brains." The rescue group has picked up 118 beached sea mammals so far this year, he said, and many of the young sea lions did not survive the domoic acid poisoning.
What they don't tell you is that the algae grow on the feces of over-populated pinnipeds (seals and sea lions), whose nitrate biomass added to the Bay probably exceeds that of the entire population of the LA basin. The pinnipeds are getting that way due to feasting on "threatened" steelhead and a lack of predators (notably grizzly bears and great white sharks).
I can just see the residents of Santa Monica lining up to have grizzlies roam the beaches to control the sea lions. It s for The Environment you know.
Blaming farms for nitrate in this instance is yet another excuse to put them out of business and take their land.
They get blamed when there's money to be made in real estate, restoration projects, etc. What was once a well meaning effort to protect threatened habitat, has now become a racket that's all about getting cheap dirt for development, making money in foreign ag investments, and jobs for bureaucrats and academics.
We've had similar problems here in Santa Cruz. There's a book chapter online containing an amusing section on the topic pinnipeds.
You have written a nice book. Yes, the tragedy of the commons must be solved by property rights. Tell that to Japan, Spain, Norway etc. that are vacuum cleaning the seas.
Thanks, it was a lot of work.
Yes, the tragedy of the commons must be solved by property rights. Tell that to Japan, Spain, Norway etc. that are vacuum cleaning the seas.
About which we don't do anything because we owe them money. Meanwhile, we write regulations that actually cut coastal productivity! Yep, it's a big problem. My opinion is that humans now have the means to settle the ocean with maritime nations and GPS determined property lines. It would be a good thing. Keep the UN out of it.
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