Associated Press reports:
At island rookeries off the Southern California coast, 45 percent of the pups born in June have died, said Sharon Melin, a wildlife biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service based in Seattle. Normally, less than one-third of the pups would die.
It’s gotten so bad in the past two weeks that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared an “unusual mortality event.” That will allow more scientists to join the search for the cause, Melin said.
Even the pups that are making it are markedly underweight …
Rescuers have had to leave the worst of them in an effort to save the strongest ones, she said.
Routine testing of seafood is being done by state and federal agencies and consumer safety experts are working with NOAA to find the problem.”No link has been established at this time between these sea lion strandings and any potential seafood safety issues,” NOAA said in a statement.
Given that the FDA has refused to test seafood for radiation, we’re not that confident that the government is looking that hard to see if Fukushima fallout is the cause.