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A surge of baby sea lions, starving and dehydrated, have washed ashore along the California coast each spring in recent years.
If we don't take meaningful action now, this crisis will continue. More and more pups will arrive each day. Emaciated and weak, most of them will die.
Overfishing sardines during a natural population decline has severely reduced the number of these forage fish that sea lions rely on. Unless people like you fight back, vulnerable sea lion pups will continue to starve and die.
Add your name to save starving sea lion pups and protect the world's oceans with Oceana.
Dear Pacific Fishery Management Council:
California sea lion pups have been found stranded on beaches during spring months in recent years. Many died and many others were found underweight, dehydrated, and starving. Their mothers were not finding enough forage fish to eat. They were spending more time away from their pups foraging, farther from shore, and the nursing sea lion pups were in turn, starving to death.
Approximately three times as many sea lions washed ashore in 2015 compared to 2013, when the severity of strandings emerged as an issue of great concern. About 90 percent of sea lion pups were estimated to have died last year before reaching weaning age.
More must be done to ensure there is adequate forage fish to support a healthy and abundant food web in the Pacific Ocean.
I am greatly concerned that management of the commercial forage fish fisheries off California, Oregon and Washington is leaving ocean wildlife without enough fish to eat. Sea lions, whales, pelicans, and many other species rely on these same forage fish for a large part of their diet. Pacific sardine and Northern anchovy populations are at historically low levels and are some of the most important forage fish in the California Current ocean ecosystem. Immediate, lasting action is needed to prevent future overfishing and to help these forage fish populations rebuild to healthy and abundant levels.
I urge you to take immediate measures to fix the Pacific sardine management framework, prevent Northern anchovy overfishing, and ensure abundant forage fish populations for dependent predators. Ocean wildlife and coastal communities dont have time to wait.