Alarms raised on West Coast over unprecedented die-off of nearly endangered marine mammals — More have washed up in last few months than during all of recorded history combined — Experts scrambling to deal with latest wildlife crisis in Pacific — Official: “What’s going to happen next?” (VIDEO)

Published: June 10th, 2015 at 10:24 pm ET


Press Democrat (Sonoma County), Jun 7, 2015 (emphasis added): Fur seal strandings on California coast raise alarmIn what’s already a grim year along California’s shores for marine wildlife, concern is growing about rare fur seals that are turning up, weak and emaciated… [They’re] rarely seen anywhere close to land… About 50 or 60 strandings have been reported so far, with exact numbers unavailable… crews have scrambled to deal with the new crisis… Guadalupe fur seals… are listed as threatened on the federal Endangered Species List… the impact of large-scale losses could be significant, said Moe Flannery [Calif. Academy of Sciences]… The stranding surge comes amid a scramble to address a variety of issues among marine mammals… they recovered 33 dead animals in April and May alone… The most Guadalupe fur seals the [Marine Mammal Center] hospital has seen in a given year is four, though usually it’s two or fewer… currently [it] has 14 Guadalupe fur seals and has lost 11 since mid-February…

Justin Viezbicke, NOAA: “We’re kind of all hands on deck for the stranding community right now.”

Shawn Johnson, Marine Mammal Center director: “These little guys are coming in at, basically, birth weight… They’re extremely emaciated… This is the first time this has ever happened for us, so it’s a surprise… and it’s something to be concerned about for the fur seal pups, but also for what’s going to happen next.”

Sue Pemberton, CA Academy of Sciences:

  • May 21: Dead Guadalupe fur seal pup #29, since April 4th. Unprecedented in my 21 years of working with marine mammals
  • May 11: The #guadalupefurseal die-off has kicked in to high gear with #10 in the last week. This is a big hit for these guys
  • May 7: Collected two more Guadalupe fur seals today as the die-off continues

NOAA (pdf), Jun 1, 2015: Q: Have other marine mammals been affected by this stranding event? A: Yes, there has been an increase in Guadalupe fur seal strandings.

NBC Bay Area, May 27, 2015: Scientists are concerned about the impact of the die-off on the endangered Guadalupe fur seal.

Tenaya Norris, Marine Mammal Center, 2014-2015 Pacific Anomalies Science and Technology Workshop, May 6, 2015 (at 3:02:30):

  • “Usually we don’t see very many of these [Guadalupe fur seals], 0-5 every year since our records began in 1975. This year we’ve had, I think it’s now 16 of these guys… This is a dramatic increase from one year to the next, and from a pretty flat line.”
  • Slide: Record number of Guadalupe fur seal strandings in 2015 — Expected to do slightly better with warm waters – Really bad out there

According to Norris’ graphic on Guadalupe fur seal strandings, only 62 have been documented in the 30 years since record keeping began. The Press Democrat reports “50 or 60 strandings… with exact numbers unavailable” for the first 5 months of 2015.

Watch Norris’ presentation here | NBC broadcast here

Published: June 10th, 2015 at 10:24 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. AP: “Alarming signs of oceanic distress” on West Coast — Record number of stranded seal pups, nearly 2,000% of normal levels — “Bags of skin and bones” — “In our 40 year history we’ve never seen this many animals” (VIDEO) November 24, 2015
  2. Time: Bizarre die-off along West Coast “an animal emergency” — Reuters: Record number of deaths declared Unusual Mortality Event by gov’t — Babies being found severely emaciated, sickened by parasites — Experts: “A big warning sign… this is just the tip of the iceberg” (VIDEO) October 5, 2015
  3. TV: “Worst wildlife die-off ever recorded” anywhere on Earth underway on West Coast — Expert: “And we’re not just talking marine die-offs… yeah, it’s a really big deal” — “There are many more species that are getting sick” — “Facing possibility of extinction” — Scientist: “Is it some sort of a toxin that’s there?” (VIDEO) January 22, 2016
  4. Sickened animals “unlike anything doctors have ever seen” on West Coast — “They’re eating themselves from the inside” — Cancers… liver, pancreas, intestines shut down… infested with parasites and immune to antibiotics — Unprecedented catastrophe to cause loss of 200,000 sea lions (VIDEO) January 7, 2016
  5. Guardian: Pacific Ocean “turning into a desert” off California — Experts: Entire generation of baby sea lions is dying; It’s incredible, it’s so unusual and there’s no good explanation for it; Expect same thing to happen again next year — Carts filled with emaciated dead bodies (PHOTOS) May 17, 2015

365 comments to Alarms raised on West Coast over unprecedented die-off of nearly endangered marine mammals — More have washed up in last few months than during all of recorded history combined — Experts scrambling to deal with latest wildlife crisis in Pacific — Official: “What’s going to happen next?” (VIDEO)

  • irhologram

    In an earlier part of this attempted blood letting…(virtually the only thing we've done today)…it was asked if Anne is the reason the likes of Helen Caldicott don't show up here. A glass of wine and a rum later, I'll respond.

    1). The Helen Caldicott's of this world aren't members of ANY forum. No forum is worth the possible blow-back onto world class researchers. Her caliber provides the SUBJECT story, she isn't on our level… And

    2). Yes, it feels good personally to swear and use gutter talk for the horror and brutality clearly seen after taking "the red pill." But foul language convinces no one who is of a professional calibre, it is off-putting to fence-sitters, and… is it possible someone who doesn't know you better would mistake you for a punk unable to use more precise arguments to nail down proof? So even if Ms. Caldicott did condescend to join us, do you think she would waste time taking trash?

    My sincere thought is that folks who are genuinely interested in fact finding want a semi-professional community whose research is complimentary….They aren't reached by in-crowd fighting seen almost daily here. Do you not see that? It's always someone going after somebody! Someone is more right than someone else!

    Reminds me of the chicken with a feather or two out of place. That chicken is literally plucked clean of feathers, denuded in a pecking frenzy. Tempers here are shorter and shorter. Who's gonna be the last chicken standing? Lol

  • rogerthat

    Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster

    Posted on Jun 12, 2015

    By Louise Rubacky

    The New Press

    To see long excerpts from “Fukushima” at Google Books, click here.

    “Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster”
    A book by David Lochbaum, Edwin Lyman, Susan Q. Stranahan and the Union of Concerned Scientists

    In “Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster,” a team of scientists and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist recount what happens when a catastrophe strikes that no one imagines. No one with the clout to prevent it, that is. It’s a tale of entwined worlds that must cooperate intelligently in order to protect the public. The tensions and cross-purposes among them, however, lead to indecision, inaction and increased calamity. In crisis, these worlds—the nuclear energy industry, two powerful governments, and international regulatory commissions—are about as effective as a machine lubed with super glue.

    Early and often comes the warning: HUBRIS AHEAD. Words and phrases like prevailing wisdom, low risk, practically unthinkable, unlikely, government assurances, assumptions, confidence, remote possibility and a situation we had never imagined appear throughout; they indicate attitudes about potential dangers, and point to why the earthquake and tsunami had such dire effects on Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and Japan. …

    • rogerthat

      The route from the public to the private sector is known here as the revolving door; there, the delicate name for that greasy highway is “amakudari,” translated as “descent from heaven.”

      The coastal earthquake that kicked off a trail of destruction and mayhem on March 11, 2011, measured 9.0 on the Richter scale, but was prematurely reported by the government as 7.9, 45 times less energetically powerful. It’s the biggest temblor in Japanese history, but the fifth largest ever recorded, and the authors present other reasons that industry and government should not have feigned surprise:

      “Headlines scattered over the decades built a disturbing picture. Reactor owners falsified reports. Regulators failed to scrutinize safety claims. Nuclear boosters dominated safety panels. Rules were buried for years in endless committee reviews. ‘Independent’ experts were financially beholden to the nuclear industry for jobs or research funding. …”

      Plenty of warnings were sounded, like those from noted seismologist Katsuhiko Ishibashi who, since 1997, had predicted grim scenarios that a catastrophic earthquake could set in motion. Other experts cautioned that tsunami reinforcements at Fukushima Daiichi were inadequate; they were made safe only up to 20 feet because plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Company determined the danger of a wave above that height was “unrealistic.” …

      • rogerthat

        In an island nation that generated 30 percent of its energy at nuclear plants and has over 1,000 earthquakes a year, company concerns about sending the wrong message to the public outweighed scientific evidence.

        When the tsunami hit Fukushima Daiichi, system failures flowed like lava from an active volcano. For three of their six reactors, the countdown to meltdown began. The earthquake took out plant AC power, and the tsunami drowned backup generators, cables, gauges and multiple critical tools. Internal emergency communications became spotty, as would be expected if those in charge had allowed themselves to imagine that such a destructive earthquake and tsunami could happen.

        Within two hours of the 50-foot water wall flooding the plant, all backups for disaster control were kaput. The Fukushima incident was, like many nuclear accidents, “beyond design-basis.” This refers to power stations designed with accident management plans that function up to a certain degree of impact intensity. That threshold was much lower than the 9.0 quake and subsequent tsunami. Despite the risk, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has also allowed U.S. plants to rely on design-basis planning, and for licensees to develop their accident management voluntarily. …

        • rogerthat

          among the comments:

          jim james • 8 hours ago
          From the gist of the book review it sounds like a white-wash, especially based upon this gem, "[D}uring the Fukushima crisis, when it seemed clear that the radiation levels at the plant were reaching the allowable limits, the government
          considered raising the “safe” exposure level."


          The reality is that Japan raised the so-called safe exposure levels in the wake of Fukushima–if I'm not mistaken Japan did it more than once–and so did the US of A.
          1 • Reply•

  • rogerthat

    Japan Meteorological Agency raised the warning level of Mt. Asamasan / Possibility of eruption

    by Mochizuki June 11, 2015
    Following up this article.. Very shallow volcanic quake occurred the most often since 311 in Mt. Asamasan [URL]

    On 6/11/2015, Japan Meteorological Agency announced they raised the warning level of Mt. Asamasan from 1 to 2. It is warned not to enter the 2km radius area from the crater.

    From their report of 6/11/2015, the sulfur dioxide volume increased over 3 times much as 3 days ago, which was 1,700t.

    This is 17 times much as the volume of the end of May.

    Japan Meteorological Agency comments there is a possibility of a “minor” eruption to affect around the crater.

    Iori Mochizuki

  • 'I never accused her of being a drug dealer'
    Oh yes you did. Typical 'link & omit' move.

    September 7, 2014 at 3:54 pm
    'She is selling LSD today. Before it was heroin'

    Ayeyaiyai! stop this silly shite!

  • rogerthat

    Fri Jun 12, 2015
    Japan to speed up return of Fukushima area evacuees


    Japan plans to revoke evacuation orders for most people forced from their homes by the Fukushima nuclear disaster within two years as part of a plan to cut compensation payouts and speed up reconstruction, the government said on Friday.

    The government also said, however, that it would delay the removal of dangerous spent uranium fuel rods at the wrecked Fukushima power station, another setback in Tokyo Electric Power Co's struggle to contain the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

    Thousands of Fukushima residents remain in temporary housing more than four years after a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered meltdowns, explosions and radiation leaks at Tepco's Fukushima Daiichi plant.

    Some areas have been opened but many people are reluctant to return because of a lack of facilities and distrust of government claims it is safe. Others are resigned to never returning to their homes and businesses. …

  • rogerthat

    Jun12 2015
    March against the nuke plant
    Diane Turco

    Have folks had enough yet? What will it take to protect the public from the troubled Pilgrim nuclear reactor? We need a Downwind Uprising!

    Just last week, another report on Entergyʼs Pilgrim nuclear reactor was released by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This Special Inspection Report was initiated because of the emergency shutdown during winter storm Juno. In a pattern all too familiar to the public, the NRC decries the neglect of Entergy Corp. not addressing identified equipment problems from years ago, concluding that this scram could have been prevented.

    However, the report falls short of an intervention to actually protect the public. Maybe more inspections and oversight, not a shutdown. Already considered one of the five worst operating reactors in the country, Pilgrim continues to be a threat to us all.

    Entergy is a Louisiana-based corporation beholden to produce profit for its shareholders, not the public. Not repairing identified equipment at a nuclear power reactor is criminal negligence, period. Who is accountable to the public for putting us at such unacceptable risk?

    Enough is enough! The public will not stand passively by as the federal regulators, Entergy and the state emergency planners identify our families, property, community, as refugees, to be contaminated and then relocated …

    • rogerthat

      in the event of a severe accident. The myth that the public can be protected in such a scenario, which the NRC plans for, is pure nonsense. Trying to justify the operation of an aging troubled nuclear reactor on the shores of Cape Cod Bay is myth that must be dismantled. …

      • rogerthat

        Hingham group part of march supporting Pilgrim closure

        By Carol Britton Meyer

        Posted Jun. 11, 2015 at 3:56 PM

        … Out of a growing concern centering on health and safety issues, the Occupy Hingham group (see sidebar) is sponsoring a four-day, 54-mile "March for our Children" in cooperation with Massachusetts Downwinders, a collaborative of individuals and groups across New England and beyond that shares ideas, actions, and support for the closing of the Plymouth plant. …

        The group plans to leave from the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station June 13, ending up at the State House in Boston on June 16. …

  • rogerthat

    Public kept in dark over LANL

    From the newspaper Journal North Journal North Opinion
    By Charles “Chuck” Montaño
    PUBLISHED: Friday, June 12, 2015

    Our nation’s founders understood the importance of a free press, one unencumbered by political and economic interests that benefit by keeping the general public uninformed and misled.

    Indeed, the free flow of ideas is a cornerstone of our democracy for, without information, we become hostage to the influence of a privileged few. President Eisenhower, in his 1961 farewell speech to the nation, warned us about this and in the process coined the phrase “military-industrial complex.”

    Last April, I published a book about this club of well-moneyed interests titled “Los Alamos: Secret Colony, Hidden Truths” and, to my dismay, few news outlets are willing to report about it.

    The book exposes a procurement fraud investigation gone awry at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in 2003, where two highly qualified criminal investigators were terminated in the middle of that effort, 11 months into their tenure as LANL employees, thus keeping them from discovering that the perpetrator of the fraud and the lab’s deputy director were planning a venture in which the former would be running a hunting operation on a ranch owned by the latter.

    At issue is a decommissioned cold-war bunker, located on LANL property, found containing …

    • rogerthat

      approximately $350,000 worth of stolen merchandise associated with hunting and ranching.

      What is newsworthy about all this now is that, in May, I hand-delivered a letter to Washington, D.C., officials, including Rep. Ben Ray Luján, and Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, jointly signed by the two fired criminal investigators and myself, alleging that the derailing of that investigation served to prevent the discovery of this connection to the lab’s second-in-command, thus keeping a congressional committee, conducting a related hearing at the time, uninformed as well.

      Signatories to that letter are Glenn Walp, Ph.D. – former police commissioner for the state of Pennsylvania; Steve Doran – a former police chief; and myself – former director of fraud and special audits for the N.M. Office of the State Auditor.

      In that letter, we request intervention by the U.S. Justice Department, not only because taxpayers pay dearly for the fraud, waste and abuse so prevalent in government contracting with corporate members of the military-industrial community, but also because Los Alamos is responsible for the processing, storage and disposal of plutonium, arguably the most toxic substance known.

      Therefore, while it may be desirable for some, due to LANL’s $2.5 billion dollar a year budget, to shield the laboratory from controversy, it’s unconscionable to do so at the expense of those who dare to report managerial malfeasance. Because, when all is said and done, …

      • rogerthat

        we’re all at risk when we’re being kept in the dark.

        Charles “Chuck” Montaño is former employee of the lab and the state auditor’s office, an author and a resident of Santa Fe.

  • rogerthat

    Rio Tinto Group-controlled uranium producer Energy Resources of Australia Ltd. slumped 48 percent — to the lowest in 34 years — after shelving an expansion of its only mine.

    A weak uranium price and uncertainty over future access agreements with local authorities led to a decision to cancel studies on an extension project at its Ranger mine in the Northern Territory, …

  • rogerthat

    Group taking battle over nuclear waste burial plan to court

    Scott Miller, CTV London
    Published Friday, June 12, 2015

    Plans to build Canada’s first permanent nuclear waste storage facility are heading to court.

    A citizen’s group called Save Our Saugeen Shores has asked the Federal Court of Canada to put the project on ice.
    They are appealing for a judicial review of the Joint Review Panel decision of May 7th, which recommended approval of the multi-million dollar project.

    Save our Saugeen Shores argues the Joint Review Panel erred in their decision because of “multiple legal errors, bias-tainted process, and its acceptance of evidence of, and reliance on, deceptive and unlawful conduct.”

    Jill Taylor is president of Save our Saugeen Shores. She says “If the federal government is not prepared to respect its own environmental laws and processes, how can they expect Canadian industry and the Canadian public to do so?”

    The federal environment minister has moved a deadline to make a final decision on the project until early December. The deadline was initially early September, before October’s federal election. …

  • rogerthat

    Energy panel urges shutdown of S. Korea's oldest nuclear reactor
    By Kim Eun-jung

    SEOUL, June 12 (Yonhap) — The government recommended Friday the state nuclear power operator permanently shut down the nation's oldest reactor when its operational license expires two years later, apparently caving in to strong opposition from residents and environmental groups over its safety.

    The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy advised the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) to close the Gori-1 light-water reactor located in the southeastern port city of Busan, as it was deliberating whether to apply for extending the life of the 38-year-old reactor before the deadline set for July 18. …

  • rogerthat

    'Koodankulam Nuclear Plant a Failure'
    By Express News Service Published: 12th June 2015

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A mass convention is being organised by the Kudankulam Samara Samithi at G R Memorial Public School in Neyyattinkara on Saturday from 10 am onwards. The convention will be inaugurated by Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan.

    In a press conference here on Thursday, the samithi activists said that the convention is being organised to express dismay over state’s stand on the move to set up a nuclear park at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power plant without taking into consideration the mass protests going on against the plant.

    “The first reactor stopped functioning 24 times over an 18-month period. Now it lies dysfunctional.
    Officials say that parts of the reactor turbine need to be changed and they are being reconstructed. These things prove the reports that low quality machine parts from Russia were used for the nuclear power plant’s construction were true,” said S P Udayakumar, Kudankulam activist.

    They also expressed doubts that diesel generators are being used to generate electricity so as to substantiate that the nuclear plant is producing it. The activists also want the officials to release a white paper on the functioning and dangers that the plant poses to the people. …

    • rogerthat

      They also want authorities to withdraw from developing the plant further by installing the third, fourth, fifth and sixth reactors.

      The samithi activists also demanded that more security should be set in place while transporting Uranium rods via road from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport to Kudankulam.

      The used fuel rods and high grade rejects are also taken back to the airport via road. The activists alleged that plans are afoot to dispose the nuclear effluents behind the under construction Neutrino Observatory at Theni.

      In 2011, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha had justified that as money had been already spent for the construction of the first and second reactors of Kudankulam nuclear plant, the project can’t be stopped in the midway. For the third and fourth reactors, no huge investment has been made and hence, she can readily oppose it. Chief Minister of Kerala must also take this stand, the samithi activists demanded.

  • rogerthat

    Plan for high-level radioactive waste in Texas opposed
    VAN HORN, Texas (AP) – Some West Texas residents have raised health and environmental concerns over a proposal to store high-level radioactive nuclear waste in their county.

    KWES-TV ( ) reports dozens of citizens at Thursday night's town hall meeting in Van Horn also voiced fears about possible leaks, land value issues and even terrorism. …

  • rogerthat

    Whistleblowers tell Senate hearing about retaliation for reporting wrongs
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share via Email More Options

    Comments 153
    By Joe Davidson June 11

    “Warren Weinstein is dead. Colin Rutherford, Joshua Boyle, Caitlin Coleman and the child she bore in captivity are still hostages in Pakistan. I failed them. I exhausted all efforts and resources available to return them but I failed.”

    So began Army Lt. Col. Jason Amerine’s testimony before a Senate hearing Thursday on retaliation against whistleblowers. He was the first witness in what was a sometimes-emotional hearing into the reprisals military personnel and civilians can face from the government they serve. …

  • rogerthat

    … Hurtado said the direct-current line could deliver renewable and clean energy to the Southeast for about 4 to 6 cents per kilowatthour, "which is a very competitive rate."

    "With the production tax credit for wind, power could be produced in this area for about 2 cents per kwh and it would cost another 2 cents or so per kwh to transmit and deliver the power to TVA," he said. …

  • Has anyone noticed that when there is no threat to the community here, via a troll or bot, that people start attacking each other here?

    But when there is a bonafida troll present, everyone pulls together and presents a unified front to the 'threat'.

    Just imagination, or is there some reality to this?

    • DUDe DisasterInterpretationDissorder

      I'm under the same impression Dr.Goodheart. A mutual opponent is a good uniter..
      Apart from that i also think ENE is slowing down..and thinning..but i don't know why..fatigue of repeating ?

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