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So Cal Marine Animals Ill/Dying due to bacteria

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by twosoakers, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. twosoakers

    twosoakers Addict & Western U '11 7+ Year Member

    313
    0
    Jan 18, 2007
    Pomona, CA
    Not bacteria--acid. My apologies.

    More marine animals sickened by acid

    Sun Apr 29, 6:08 AM ET LOS ANGELES - Rescuers worked Saturday to save more dead and dying dolphins and sea lions that have washed up on Southern California beaches, believed poisoned by a naturally occurring toxic acid.

    A bloom of ocean algae that produces domoic acid may be responsible for killing or sickening dozens of the sea mammals, including birds, in recent weeks, environmentalists said.
    On Friday state health officials warned consumers against eating certain locally harvested shellfish and seafood because they may be contaminated with the acid.
    At least four sea lions were found Saturday on shores in Marina del Rey, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach and Venice, said Peter Wallerstein of the Whale Rescue Team.
    "We've done at least 35 rescues in the past couple weeks," Wallerstein said. "The local marine care center is at full capacity and they are putting restrictions on how many animals we can bring in."
    Another six dolphins have been picked off the beach in the past six days, he said, and about 110 animals have been rescued this year, he added. All were either dead, comatose or suffering from seizures.
    Officials said consumers should avoid sport-harvested shellfish, sardines, anchovies, lobsters and crabs caught off the coast between Santa Barbara and Orange County. Dogs, cats and other pets also should not be fed the products, the state Department of Health Services said.
    In the past week, 40 birds have been taken to the International Bird Rescue Center in San Pedro with symptoms of domoic acid poisoning, which attacks the brain and can cause seizures.
    In previous seasons, the center might see seven birds a week, director Jay Holcomb said.
    The algae population goes through an annual increase as ocean waters warm, but biologists say this year's bloom is especially early and extensive.
    A similar outbreak in 2002 and 2003 sickened or killed more than a thousand sea lions and 50 dolphins.
     
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  3. clawsbeatskin

    clawsbeatskin 2+ Year Member

    328
    0
    Feb 26, 2007
    The cause is actually a species of dinoflagellate that most refer to as red tide (red tide being a blanket term for several species of dinos that cause harmful algal blooms or HABs). The dinoflagellates harbor a toxin that can, in severe cases, acidify the water. Red tide is especially common in warm water, as in the Gulf of Mexico. Fish kills are common, but mammals including humans may experience distress.

    While living on the coast during a red tide I knew of several people who experienced upper respiratory problems from inhaling the toxin that had escaped into the air.

    It is best to remember that moderate HABs are part of the normal cycle of coastal areas. While it is unfortunate that fish and other critters die as a result, it is (in the most layman terms) a cleansing for the affected ecosystem. But in this extreme case, it seems the bloom has been exacerbated by pollution/climate/enter global hot topic here.
     
  4. twosoakers

    twosoakers Addict & Western U '11 7+ Year Member

    313
    0
    Jan 18, 2007
    Pomona, CA
    yes, cape town, south africa, had posted warnings about eating shellfish out of red tide.
     

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