Paper: 35 sq. mile ‘mega-pod’ of dolphins related to sea lion deaths in California? Extraordinary changes seen in behavior of marine mammals — Pretty obvious something’s going on

Published: April 10th, 2013 at 10:52 pm ET


Title: What is killing California sea lion pups? Why unusual event is a concern
Source: Christian Science Monitor
Author: Gloria Goodale
Date: April 10, 2013

[…] “In our 42 years, we have never seen anything like this,” [Pacific Marine Mammal Center development director Melissa Sciacca] says. […]

This unusual wave of sea lion beaching comes at the same time as a rash of equally remarkable marine mammal events have caused a sensation over the past few months. Back in mid-February, a mega-pod of feeding dolphins that was estimated to number in the tens of thousands and to cover 35 square miles astonished residents near San Diego, while the largest pods of grey and killer whales ever spotted also delighted tourists at the same time as they perplexed scientists.

Researchers at NOAA are cautious in their proposals as to what is behind the growing number of incapacitated sea lion pups, points out Beth Pratt, California director of the National Wildlife Federation. But, she adds, it’s hard for the average person watching these events not to think they’re connected somehow.

“It seems pretty obvious to the average viewer that there is something going on in our oceans or environments that is driving such extraordinary changes in marine mammal behavior,” she says. […]

Full report here

See also: [intlink id=”crisis-of-epic-proportions-for-california-sea-lions-suffering-abscesses-seizures-exponentially-higher-numbers-washing-up-than-before-video” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: April 10th, 2013 at 10:52 pm ET


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  2. CBS: Officials alarmed as several types of marine mammals begin washing up in California — “Now entire coast is being affected” — “Whole population getting hit hard… a real shock to us” — Animals of all ages sick, not only newborns — “Really hard to wrap our heads around what’s happening” (VIDEO) February 2, 2015
  3. NBC: Record level of sick or injured California seals and sea lions turning up — “The numbers are extraordinary” — “Scientists worried… The worst kind of perfect storm” — Pups should be weighing 2 or 3 times as much, “severely malnourished” (VIDEO) April 18, 2014
  4. Many large marine mammals found dead around California, public warned to expect further strandings — FOX: “Very disturbing… I kept running into more… So unusual… Part of troubling trend” — ABC: “So many dead animals, it felt really tragic… Very peculiar… Fear there’s more to come” (VIDEO) July 7, 2015
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65 comments to Paper: 35 sq. mile ‘mega-pod’ of dolphins related to sea lion deaths in California? Extraordinary changes seen in behavior of marine mammals — Pretty obvious something’s going on

  • ftlt

    I keep thinking back to the rotten egg smell reports in early March… Was the source of ever identified…

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Loose assumptions is all that's being printed regarding the ill sea lions. We need lab results, and expect them.

  • lickerface lickerface

    Yeah this is pointless observation and not yet science. We all have a feeling they're connected. I can only assume both BP and Nuke industry is making sure results of lab are difficult to be obtained. Journalists don't wanna touch touch actual test results… how long will these assumptions continue?

    • jec jec

      Alaska Seal Deaths? Has the University of Alaska EVER released the results YET? First it was Sept 2012, then Jan,and …Last time I looked..its 2013! The results of the radiation tests on the HEALTHY seals..was negative. So why not tell us what the tests were on the SICK ones. Are they hoping for some kind of 1/2 life of nuclear daughters that makes us feel better. Its not virus, toxic, bacteria..they say that. So?? Why so silent so long..if its NEGATIVE SAY IT. IF NOT….

      Probably related to both the mega-pod of dolphins and the sea lion calf illnesses and deaths. Is the ocean big enough for us all?
      What happens when Japan DUMPS the rest of the toxic brew into the N. Pacific mess?

      • Trawling4Trolls

        Something has disturbed the dolphins and whales' food sources. If they're congregating in those numbers and aren't dying of hunger they're chasing those food sources.

        This is the outrageousness, "So why not tell us what the tests were on the SICK ones." You've got to know some marine biologist knows what is affecting the sea lions by now.

  • harengus_acidophilus

    "Source: Christian Science"



    • 16Penny 16Penny

      Mainstream science seems to be incredulous to the trend, why not?

      • harengus_acidophilus

        "science business" or "science"?

        Science in a scientifical way don't know "christian science".
        It's a "contradictio in adiecto".


  • Jebus Jebus

    Animals are smarter than humans in the context of survival. We have lost this instinct in our cushy world.
    If the animals environment is fouled, they seek to survive. They move away from the threat.

    We are just lied to…

    I firmly believe that the threat they are running from is not just the radiation, which is horrific in and of itself.

    How many tons of tsunami debris was stated in the media?
    How many tons of that were toxic manmade chemicals?
    How many tons were household chemicals?
    How many tons of industrial chemicals?
    How many tons of fertillizer?
    How many tons of heavy metals?
    How many tons of gasoline?
    How many tons of diesel?

    We are only seeing the floating solid debris wash up on our shores.

    The toxic liquids that were washed out to sea have melded into the the oceans underwater rivers.

    We see the debris. The oceans creatures are experiencing the chemical soup in their home. Not to mention the continous radioactive runoff.

    For the GOM, poisoned with suffocating toxic oil plus CorExit.
    It's worse than you think.

    For the Pacific, poisoned with every chemical known to man on an epic scale, in an instant, plus Fukushima's runoff.
    It's worse than you think.

    How hard is it for the "officials" to fathom this?
    It's not. We are just lied to…

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Agreed a million times, Jebus. We're being lied to. I'm afraid though that too few of us demand the truth.

    • harengus_acidophilus

      "Animals are smarter than humans"

      No way.
      There are no humans.
      Nor intelligent lifeforms.

      Once upon a time "the naked ape"
      have had a chance to become human.

      But he wants a color tv …


      • hbjon hbjon

        I thank God on bended knee for my TV. Daily,I get a dozen commercials telling me to ask my doctor if their pills are right for me. "Of course they're right for me. They cure what ails me". I am currently glued to my set waiting for the pill that cures Fukulosis. I hope my doctor thinks it's right for me. America the beautiful. NK better not dare mess with us, I'm fresh out of happy pills.

    • SophieQ

      Thank You.

  • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

    demanding the truth are we? "He stood there, demanding I eat cesium flakes, whilst I demanded we be told the truth. Curiously, neither of us seemed to care one iota for the others demands" But tomorrow, we will organize a peace rally, to raise awareness. That should do it.

    No mention here of radioactivity, just that the "average" person thinks a mega dolphin pod and incapacitated sea lion puppies are related.

    sick world. "Aliens came from the far reaches of the galaxy, and their evil intentions were made clear when they spared the human race"

    • If A Haiku Hid Music If A Haiku Hid Music

      The article does mention radiation, if only to dismiss it:

      "While some have raised the possibility of radiation effects from the Fukushima earthquake in Japan, [NOAA Dr. Sharon] Melin points out that this event is narrowly limited to the young sea lion population.

      “There would be a more widespread effect if radiation were the cause,” she says"

      Is NOAA muzzled on all things nuclear by the NRC/DOE bully agreements like the myriad of other government-funded agencies?

      Notice she doesn't actually say 'tests have shown no sign of radiation' but rather makes a blind assumption that effects would be more widespread if radiation were the cause.

      I seem to recall that there actually HAVE BEEN widespread signs of disease and death – spanning great distances and different types of sea life – from snails on the seafloor near Japan, to arctic ringed seals and polar bears in Russia and Alaska to huge drop-offs in the numbers of many fish species, and I'm sure there are more examples that I cannot recall at the moment.

      These young sea lions aren't even supposed to begin weaning from their mothers' milk until April or May, yet more than 1,100 of them have already stranded themselves.

      Radiation is known to bio-accumulate the further up the food chain you go, and is found in higher levels in mammals' breast milk.

      For a truly accurate picture, scientists should be testing not only the young pups for radiation, but the milk the mother sea lions are…

      • If A Haiku Hid Music If A Haiku Hid Music

        …feeding (or not feeding) to their sick and dying young.

      • We Not They Finally

        I'm with you. How does "IF it were radiation…." substitute for ACTUAL TEST RESULTS?? Professionally, this is a grotesquely irresponsible approach, but morally, much worse. And , they should also be testing the mother sea lions. And also figure out what killed off 30% of the sardines in the last year, as that is a main food supply for these creatures. Well, at least Ms. Liar did not have the temerity to say that there was "no immediate threat" to the animals who are obviously dying. Do PEOPLE have to die in droves before anyone tests THEM?

        • If A Haiku Hid Music If A Haiku Hid Music

          Yep. It will take West Coast surfers washing up on the beaches sick and dying by the thousands to get enough people to wake up and demand action.

          I wonder if the Surfrider Foundation is awake yet? They used to always put on those catchy public service announcements on TV saying we can't survive without a clean healthy ocean.

          They could be a powerful ally in drawing attention to the extent of oceanic contamination (assuming they haven't been infiltrated and co-opted over the years like so many others).

          • many moons

            There are a lot of sick, dying, and dead folks from the BP oil and there is no let up to the drilling. In the face of making money, industry has no sympathy for it's victims.
            Organ Protest and boycott…it's worked in the past

            • lickerface lickerface

              Maybe these toxic chemicals and radiation are all still considered soft/slow kill, because they don't take you out the day of exposure. I foresee the days of delayed death coming to an end as harmful effects of this ocean water is felt within a week or less. The ocean may become so contaminated that communities will fear the mere precipitation of hurricanes coming from the Gulf, for example, into Texas. I won't even touch water in the Gulf now. It got messed up! I'm not risking cancer from it. Can you imagine oceanfront property values dropping because being near da beach is a known detriment? Getting a mansion on the coast of Cali for free is not a good deal. You cannot pay me to live there, Florida coast, or any coast.

  • 16Penny 16Penny

    "For the GOM, poisoned with suffocating toxic oil plus CorExit.
    It's worse than you think."

    But but, they cleaned the beaches, that has to mean it's ok.

    Click (changes channel)

    This week in sports. . .

    Most of our population does not seem to want or be able to think their way out of the paper bag the media has put over their heads.

    • DannieJ DannieJ

      Hello 16Penny,

      I would like to recommend to you the booklet called "As the World Burns: 50 easy steps you can take to stay in denial."

      It's a comprehensive .pdf document that will clarify certain parts of human behavior .. or at least it did for me 🙂


  • 16Penny 16Penny

    From the article:

    "At this early stage, scientists are focusing on food shortages and disease as possible causes, says Dr. Melin. While some have raised the possibility of radiation effects from the Fukushima earthquake in Japan, Melin points out that this event is narrowly limited to the young sea lion population."

    A)Food shortages
    D) All the above

    Again I will say, if they were serious about an exotic new disease wouldn't they be a bit more cautious than to let journalists take close ups of the sick pups through chain link fence pens?

    Wouldn't the potential for transmission of a mammalian disease be of concern?

  • 16Penny 16Penny

    And also from the source article:

    "“There would be a more widespread effect if radiation were the cause,” she says."

    Sounds like she doesn't understand radiation that well. says:

    "What are the risks of other long-term health effects?

    Other than cancer, the most prominent long-term health effects are teratogenic and genetic mutations.

    Teratogenic mutations result from the exposure of fetuses (unborn children) to radiation. They can include smaller head or brain size, poorly formed eyes, abnormally slow growth, and mental retardation. Studies indicate that fetuses are most sensitive between about eight to fifteen weeks after conception. They remain somewhat less sensitive between six and twenty-five weeks old.

    The relationship between dose and mental retardation is not known exactly. However, scientists estimate that if 1,000 fetuses that were between eight and fifteen weeks old were exposed to one rem, four fetuses would become mentally retarded. If the fetuses were between sixteen and twenty-five weeks old, it is estimated that one of them would be mentally retarded.

    […]Health physicists estimate that about fifty severe hereditary effects will occur in a group of one million live-born children whose parents were both exposed to one rem. About one hundred twenty severe hereditary effects would occur in all descendants."

    • jec jec

      16Penny good comments..but one has to wonder how they got statistics!! From the careful massaged data of Chernobyl (to make everyone feel safe?), from World War II?, from other human guinea pigs in the Marshall Islands. Nope..not the Marshalls, those people are having too many miscarriages, and "jellyfish" babies; the pain they feel is not made public. And in many cultures, abnormal babies or birth defects are considered the fault of the mother. So exactly what data was used for the results I wonder. Maybe we need to look at the statistics for the surge in AUTISM? Now those children would not usually be considered in the MR catagory immediately..and can be easy put in some other "box".

      • jec jec

        Many cultures do not share abnormal birth defects with the public. The shame and the stigma are terrible. In some, its considered the mother committed adultry or some other crime against nature; she is shunned. The familys HIDE the births, babies 'died' at birth. Just look at the birth photos of babies who were HELPED to die(terrible throat cuts/or smothered). We take for granted the modern medical, clean hospital care we all get in the modern world.

        So..the data is from what sources? Japan? Iraq? Germany? Russia? USA downwinders? Chernobyl?

        Again 16Penny wonderful catch of modern statistics wrapped up neatly in numbers.

  • We Not They Finally

    Didn't the EPA say early on that there would be NO TESTING OF WEST COAST FISH FOR RADIATION as a matter of POLICY? And if they are not testing the fish, then why test the sea lions? Is there any clarification anywhere that this is an extension of that POLICY, so that lack of testing by NOAA would also NOT be done as a matter of POLICY? It's a horrendous policy, endangering not just the sea creatures, but human life. But I want to hear it outright, that "We refuse to test as a matter of POLICY." They seem to want to provide no handle even for pushback. Very frustrating!!

    • 16Penny 16Penny

      Great connection!

      From your link:

      "“The main necropsy findings were the severe diffuse pulmonary edema and the multifocal pulmonary hemorrhage, which are indicative of acute severe respiratory distress, the cause of which remains undetermined,” the necropsy report said."


      "Cardiac failure or heart problems were noted in three other of the Baffert-trained horses, including a 2-year-old colt who died while galloping at Hollywood Park from “failure of the cardiac conduction system” on Nov. 4, 2011, according to the necropsy. The other two Baffert horses died of internal bleeding, according to the necropsies. One of them, a 3-year-old, had a “massive abdominal/thoracic cavity hemorrhage.”"

      Looking back to the EPA page I linked above, there is a chart that describes levels of exposure and health consequences.

      100 rem – hemorrhage
      400 rem – possible death (within two months without treatment)
      1,000 rem – destruction of intestinal lining, internal bleeding and death (1-2 weeks from exposure without treatment)

      Is it possible the horses just couldn't find food? Have they checked for undiscovered disease?

      Is it possible that there has been a recent high level plume released from Fukushima? Could this just be from low doses of radiation that have deposited and accumulated in the lungs and digestive tracts of these horses? Are horses more or less susceptible to the effects of radiation than humans? Than babies? Than sea lions?

      • 16Penny 16Penny

        Sorry to double up but I found this and from the rest of the result summaries I read this seems to be straight forward. Horses have a greater risk of side effects from airborne contamination or disease.

        "The nasal passages and sinuses warm and moisten the air as it flows toward the lungs, while the mucus and cilia trap small particles. The cilia move rhythmically to move mucus and particles upward and outward. The horse will then blow (snort) or cough to force these particles out of the system."

        I imagine an exercising race horse moves quite a bit of air than a healthy 20 year old male. So now, start at the "roots" of the system and see what could have gone wrong. Cilia are the first line of defense.

        "Five and 10 Gy caused slight increment of the ciliary activity, also more marked structural effects with swollen ciliary tips, bent tips and some cilia broken and adhering to each other. Larger single doses (15-30 Gy) caused reduced and irregular ciliary activity; ultrastructurally, most cilia were broken and adhered to each other, but some cilia seemed to be unaffected. The goblet cells increased in number already after 2 and 2.5 Gy. Mucinous granula could be observed on the ciliary surface and after 30 Gy there was an explosive emptying of the goblet cells."

        Read more, connect the dots.

    • jec jec

      They should look at radiation testing. Drip Drip Drip…are people next? Or are they also suffering sudden heart failure or lung edemas and its just "normal." Sure glad I am just sitting here on the east coast USA with autoimmune diseases, RA plus now systemtic severe lupus, hives over 50 % of my body, cataracts following a career which let me experience Chernaobyl AND Hanford WA fallout as a downwinder. Gee, I feel so lucky

  • jec jec

    Thats because, like China, Japan holds a lot(!!!) of US foreign debt! Its one reason the USA is in such a mess, we have to be careful of international pressures due to our money printing scheme. So we 'play nice' in a socially acceptable blackmail way..And now..Obama is going to send over Caroline Kennedy as Ambassador to Japan. Hope her children and family stay home..or maybe the fallout and radiation is the same in the NE USA? Who knows..we don't test..we don't have a clue…

  • pcjensen

    at least there's one "expert" saying "something" is going on TEST RESULTS PLEASE – our tax dollars paid for expert gov salaries – Show Us Test Results!

    • many moons

      At this point we will have to do our own testing if we want answers.

      • pcjensen

        I know- been asking for that for some time, gosh, a long time, not going to stop me from putting their (NOAA) feet to the fire – and so – whose going to do that?

        • many moons

          I guess we will have to educate ourselves as to how to take samples, what kinds of samples, from what areas for toxicology and then for radiation perhaps we can use Geiger counters….there is a lot of info on the net about forensic pathology…then we have to find labs or lab techs, or students in Universities who have equipment available and start testing specimens….it beats not knowing or waiting for people to tell us…a lie.

          • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication

            @many moons

            There are already laboratories that test your water. They will send you a kit and tell you how to test the rainwater. It costs about $80 or so. Worth doing. We need 50 tests (by state) performed. My son has already done it and there is strontium 90 in our rainwater. Yes, it is now in the groundwater which means the aquifer. Unless you drink distilled water, you are probably drinking it too.

          • pcjensen

            check in with – he's done a great job of videotaping his tests and the set up is top notch

  • CB CB

    I'm not calling anyone a lier, but I've been to sea for 20 years and have never witnessed anything close to this. Its almost larger than life.

  • michellemamarn

    Check it out if you missed this- Here's my deep, dark fear; it's already become very, very late, too late, and TPTB know this.

    • michellemamarn

      Sorry, forgot to ID above YouTube video is of the dolphin pod off San Diego coast- thousands.

  • irhologram

    From NY Times article. In California, 19 horses died acutely in the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2012. Four of them were trained by Baffert. During this fiscal year, which ends June 30, 17 have died suddenly, three of which were in Baffert’s care, including a 5-year-old mare who died last month while training in the morning at Hollywood Park…..

    “The main necropsy findings were the severe diffuse pulmonary edema and the multifocal pulmonary hemorrhage, which are indicative of acute severe respiratory distress, the cause of which remains undetermined,” the necropsy report said.

    “We have not been able to find the cause,” Dr. Francisco Uzal of the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System said at a meeting of the board’s medication committee. “We have done extensive toxicological studies. We have done, of course, all sort of other things — pathology and histology. We don’t know what’s going on.”

    Thoroughbreds rarely die suddenly: a 2010 study in the Equine Veterinary Journal found that sudden death occurred in 9 percent of fatalities in California. Several trainers and owners said they could not remember losing a horse to a heart attack or an unexplained occurrence. ……

    In this article, tho, the attention is focused only on Baffort stables, where only four horses died…two of them with test traces of rat poison. The article leans toward illegal drugging as the cause of sudden death. No overall stats stated since June 2012.

    • 16Penny 16Penny

      There is proof of fallout on the west coast. Horses breathe a lot of air, more for exercising race horses, and seem to be particularly sensitive to airborne contamination and airborne viruses. I wouldn't be surprised to hear the horses have no traces of radiation, doesn't mean it is true.

  • ovation

    I think these dolphins are banding together because they are being affected by the contamination that the fukishima nightmare has done to the Pacific Ocean, they are reported to be one of the smartest sea creatures and have no way of dealing with it but to come together to protect themselves and their young, a survival instinct so to speak. Only they wont be able to deal with it since they live in it 24/7.
    Sadly i fear we'll be seeing mass dolphin die offs in the near future.

  • erhine

    Wonder if the record Lobster crop was due to the increase of dead fish and other sea life? Maybe like roaches some will thrive in some way for a time. I read so-called safe levels have been upped by EPA and Admin and don't expect them to look out for the greater good over special interests like their own.

  • bwoodfield bwoodfield

    More than likely the sea population can detect something wrong in the water coming across the pacific and are getting the fk out of the way. Unfortunately the sea lion pups aren't strong enough to keep up and have been left behind while the parents head for safer waters.


      unlike that one species of mammal who enjoys spending its time with their heads buried in the sand, perhaps ocean bound mammals are able to detect the agonizing cries of others?

      • 16Penny 16Penny

        Interesting angle. There has been a lot of study done on sounds in the different marine environments. Talk to anyone who is listening now and see what is being talked about in their community. Anyone have a friend or relative at the NOAA VENTS program? Know someone at a university which studies ocean sounds? Expeditionary groups for TV shows, activists, wild life officers, Aquarium employees, veterinarians, someone has to be talking about what is going on.

  • Ancient Voices

    Thank you for the link on horse deaths. This shatters my heart.

    Sooner or later it will be all grazing animals in North America. How will we bear it?