Feb 22, 2019 | Updated: 08:52 AM EST

Toxic Algae Bloom Causes Poisoning To The Rising Number Of Sea Lions

Aug 15, 2017 04:06 PM EDT


Increasing level of toxic algae blooms causing sea lions to be poisoned in California. In the year 2016 nearly 70 sea lions have been treated by Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito and in this year the number has already reached to 68.

Scientists have explained that the main reason of the poisoning is their diet. Sea lions basically eat small fishes like sardines and anchovies and those sea algae are the main diet of those small fishes. Surprisingly, those small fishes don’t get ill. Engadget has reported that the toxic alga release domoic acid that directly impacts on the brain, even it is so toxic that it can also kill human if someone consumes contaminated shell fishes.

Lead researcher Cara Field from Marine Mammal Center said,“It's really hard to watch these animals suffer, especially if there's not something we can do to stop these blooms from happening”. the main reason behind the algal bloom is agricultural and industrial runoff, it increases the Nitrogen level in water which helps algae to grow. However, those sea lions were rescued from the central coast, while the level of domoic acid is increased in the northern coast.

Not all algae blooms are toxic but they can still make damages. According to The Verge, the runoff from the river Mississippi caused the biggest dead zone ever recorded. When algae die, it sinks at the bottom and starts decaying. During this process, the oxygen level of the area rapidly decreases and this doesn't let the sea lions and other fishes survive.

There is another reason that is climate change, causing sea lions to sick. Rising temperature of the sea waters also boosts the growth of tiny algae. This thing is not only bad for sea lions but also dangerous for other sea creatures and humans.

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