The Oceans Are Dying and We Are Next. Does Anyone Care?

How Much Evidence Do you need to speak out and be heard?  To be silent is to be complicit and accepting.

In our area in North N. Cal, the wineries host events around crab season. With crab season called off, they simply shipped crabs down from Alaska so the party can continue…for just a very, very short time longer….

Does anyone care??

Shocking List Of Global Species Die-Off

Sickened animals “unlike anything doctors have ever seen” on West Coast — “They’re eating themselves from the inside”

Press Democrat, Feb 11, 2016 (emphasis added): Scientists and lawmakers foresee grim outlook for California’s ocean fisheries… the outlook is overwhelmingly grim, presenters said at an annual forum of the joint legislative Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture. “Something’s going on in the ocean, and it’s not right, and it doesn’t fit our historical understandings,” California Fish and Wildlife Director Chuck Bonham told members of the committe… Bonham noted stretches of coastline suddenly barren of sea urchins… [N]umerous anomalies… are growing increasingly apparent, Bonham said. “This should be an… alarm to the general public”… Bonham said… [S]everal witnesses Thursday forecast what most in the industry already have anticipated: a collapse, or near collapse, of key salmon runs in the state… “I cannot say this more bluntly,” [State Senator Mike McGuire] said. “We are facing a fishery disaster here in California”… U.S. Department of Commerce [is] considering a request by Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a fishery disaster…

Ocean Beach Rag, Feb 18, 2016: California’s Crab and Salmon Fisheries Threatened ByHistoric Crisis… [O]fficials testified about the dire situation that the salmon and crab fishery is in at a recent forum at the State Capitol… “The salmon and crab fisheries are threatened by ahistoric crisis. We’re facing a fishery disaster” [said Senator Mike McGuire]… “We’ve gonefrom abundance to scarcity… “During the last two years, we’ve lost over 95 percent of the Sacramento River winter-run chinook and over 95 percent of the fall-run Chinook.”… things are expected to be even worse this year… Something’s going on in the ocean — State officials and scientists spoke on the unprecedented changes in the ocean believed to be impacting crab, salmon and other fish populations… These include the massive deaths of sea stars, thedecline of the squid fishery, the closure of the sardine fishery, the decline of kelp habitatand the loss of most of the red sea urchins north of San Francisco recently…

Mad River Union, Feb 18, 2016: Ocean behavior alarming, puzzling… The following is one of several stories about the crab and fisheries calamities… [Bonham] testified that menacing changes are altering both marine biology and ecology and the changes do not fit historical understandings of ocean behavior. Bonham declared grimly, “This should be an exclamation alarm to the general public to stay aware and engaged in the ecological change going on in the ocean.”… [M]ost of the red urchin population has perished, moving from abundance to scarcity in just a few years. “Mile-long stretches of the North Coast [are] urchin barrens,” Bonham stated… There have emerged “very never-seen-before things“… The salmon outlook remains unfavorable… The Sacramento winter run “really raises the existential threat of extinction,” he testified… [T]oxic contamination generated by algal blooms may spread well beyond crabs and urchins, raising sinister unknowns, Bonham predicted warily. “Why not more and more species one right after another?” he asked…

Daily Astorian, Feb 18, 2016: Marine mammal strandings concern experts; A humpback whale that washed ashore in Seaside was one of several strandings… In the past few weeks, a humpback whale washed ashore in Seaside, and a harbor porpoise and two striped dolphins were found on the North Coast…

Dr. Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science at the Marine Mammal Center: “They were basically just skin and bones. Their liver, their pancreas, their intestines were basically shut down. And they were eating themselves from the inside to stay alive by the time we saw them… If it continues, if this is the new normal, the sea lion population and the fur seal population in California are going to have severe drops in their overall population.”

Laguna Beach Independent, Dec 18, 2015: With the lowest body weights ever documented, California sea lion pups are not only starving from lack of food, they’re infested with parasites and immune to antibiotics, said [Keith Matassa] the director of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center… A record number of emaciated and dying sea lion and seal pups is expected along local shores this winter… Last year, 3,500 sea lions and seals were rescued by various California marine rehab facilities. This year, the stranded pinnipeds are expected to hit 4,000… The animals are riddled with intestine-perforating parasites, known as thorny-head hookworms. “We’re seeing such a high level of parasites now, it’s not normal,” said Matassa… Antibiotics for infections are proving ineffective… Conditions have “not gotten much better over the past couple of years,” [Sharon Melin, NOAA wildlife biologist] said… The food web, said Melin, “has been out of whack now for quite some time.”… The fact that northern pup seals are following suit signifies the domino effect of a distressed environment, she said… the California sea lion population tops out at 300,000… she predicts a drastic decline to 100,000 due to low food availability… “There’s so many stressors on the ocean right now,” Matassa said.

Guardian, Dec 30, 2015: Unprecedented numbers of dead or starving seals washing ashore as Pacific Ocean warms, with experts saying they are ‘preparing for the worst’ in 2016… According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, there has been a huge increase in stranded sea lions… According to NOAA, more than 4,200 sick sea lions have been washed up in California so far this year, comfortably the greatest number of strandings over the past decade.

Dr Terry Gosliner, senior curator of invertebrate zoology at the California Academy of Sciences: “We are entering a really interesting period where the observations we make don’t have a precedent… It could take decades for these ecosystems to stabilize again.”

See also: Sickened animals “unlike anything doctors have ever seen” on West Coast — “They’re eating themselves from the inside” — Cancers… liver, pancreas, intestines shut down — Unprecedented catastrophe to cause loss of 200,000 sea lions (VIDEO) 

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