‘Marine Mystery’ in California: “Toxic outbreak threatening marine life” — Birds falling from sky, sea lions convulsing — “Worst they’ve ever seen” — Toxin hits record level, almost 1,000% above gov’t limit — Heart lesions, severe shrinking in part of brain, nervous system failure (VIDEO)

Published: May 3rd, 2014 at 1:17 pm ET
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Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 2, 2014: State health warnings over shellfish, anchovies and sardines are highlighting a marine mystery [...] what’s behind a toxic outbreak threatening marine life? [...] Researchers in the relatively new area of study say the problem is the worst they have ever seen. [Though the] toxin likely has always been part of the ecosystem, the threat appears to be growing. [...] results of late are the highest ever [...] sea lions affected by domoic acid show a severely shrunken hippocampus [and] lesions on the hearts and brains [...] the mystery behind why and when it happens remains largely unsolved [...]

Tenaya Norris, Marine Mammal Center: “We don’t know why these algae produce these toxins [...] They can be in the water and not producing this toxin, and they can be out in the water and raging.”

Raphael Kudela, UCSC marine ecologist: ”There is some evidence that there are more events of larger magnitude [...] it really affects sea otters.”

Rebecca Dmytryk, Wildlife Emergency Services: “We’ve literally had them drop from the sky.”

KION, Apr. 28, 2014: Sea lions found sick and convulsing off Monterey Bay coast [...] now researchers say there may be some indication that humans may also be causing domoic acid to be produced in higher concentrations [...] At least 35 sick sea lions were found stranded on the Monterey Bay. They were convulsing with seizure-like symptoms. [...]

KION, Apr. 14, 2014: [The state] began seeing low levels of demoic acid in the fish in mid-March and 2 days ago noticed it increased to almost 10 times higher than federal regulations.

KSBW, Apr. 30, 2014: Toxic algae blooms killing sea birds, threaten humans — A new health warning has been issued urging people to not eat certain parts of anchovy, sardines, or crab caught in the Monterey Bay. [It's causing seabirds'] nervous systems to fail. [...] the state public health department issued a warning not to eat recreationally harvested shellfish [...] from the Monterey Bay. On Monday, officials issued an update advising consumers not to eat the internal organs of commercially or recreationally caught anchovy, sardines or crab [...] Typically the toxic algae blooms only last a week or two but the latest one has lasted all month [...]

Watch the KSBW broadcast here

Published: May 3rd, 2014 at 1:17 pm ET
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