Marine mammal experts may have realized why a large number of seals and sea lions are coming ashore weak and malnourished. The mammals are having a hard time catching fish due to a slight increase in the temperature of the ocean, said Dr. Richard Evans, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center veterinarian and medical director.
Experts are predicting an El Niño/La Niña weather pattern will begin to arrive through August, with higher global ocean temperatures already evident, according to data from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction.
“California sea lions, which don’t dive as deep as elephant seals and harbor seals, are having more trouble finding food. With warmer waters, the fish are swimming deeper and that’s where the problems seem to be coming in,” said Melissa Sciacca, a spokeswoman for the center.