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Sick and dying southern seals showing up in unusual places

Marine Mammal Center

An alarming number of dead and stranded seals are showing up along the California Coast, launching an investigation by the NOAA this week. 

Since the start of the year, Guadalupe Fur Seals have been found dead or emaciated in numbers totaling eight times the historical average.

Jim Harvey is the Director of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and said food supplies are down along the entire coastline.

He said the dead and stranded seals are showing up on the Central Coast, and the problem is even worse to the south.

"As the waters have warmed up, Guadalupe Fur Seals, a warm water species off of the Mexican coastline-- those guys have moved farther and farther northward," said Harvey.

"We're seeing more Guadalupe Fur Seal off our coast now than we have in the distant past."

A worker with the Marine Mammal Center in Morro Bay said they're seeing dozens more of these seals than a typical year, when they may only get a straggler or two.

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