Just uploaded a few pics of Sea Lions that have recently been coming ashore in DROVES down in Monterey, CA. Marine Mammal Center is collecting about 20 a day to take back and rehab because of starvation issues.
Sadly, once in the water one is exposed to DOZENS of Sea Lion corpses littering the sea floor in various states of decomposition - some look like they’re peacefully sleeping while others are covered with Starfish and crabs being recycled.
Apparently there was a larger then average birthing about 1 year ago while at the same time an El Niño (essentially, water temps and currents have changed) have caused many of their fish food sources to migrate to non-traditional areas outside Monterey Bay so the local Sea Lions are having a hard time of it. The San Franciso Chronicle just featured an article on this on their front page just a week ago:
Tagged individuals that are known to be 3 or 4 have starved to death as well as hundreds of yearlings.
They seem to know that something is different as they come out and "play" with us slow ungainly humans much less often then they usually do. I still regularly get buzzed and/or bluff charged by a large adult or two each dive and mothers sometimes bring their pups to come explore us as they stand watch close by... just less frequent then normal.
Great Whites have been sited closer to shore than normal too as they seem to realize the hungry pinnipeds don’t have the evasive stamina they usually do. In mid July one of my diving buddies was out in his Zodiac all of a 5 minute trip outside the breakwater tip and reported a 16’ White surface after some Sea Lions and a couple of hours later a fresh and neatly severed half-a-Sea Lion washed up at the Breakwater... which is not something you see every day.
So that’s my entry. A sad but interesting peek into Nature taking her course in the Monterey Bay.