Biotoxins killing Central Coast sea life

August 27, 2014

sea lionAn outbreak of algae-produced biotoxins that attacks the brain is killing sea life along the Central Coast of California and also poses a risk to humans. [Aljazeera]

The California Department of Public Health closed fisheries in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties in April. And now, marine scientists have discovered sea lions having seizures on the beach in Morro Bay because of Domoic acid, a deadly neurotoxin produced by algae, that is appearing in Central Coast waters at record levels.

Dying or dead sea lions have been spotted along the coast line throughout San Luis Obispo County.

Algae produces the domoic acid, it is eaten by shellfish and plankton-eating fish, and then they are eaten by sea lions, brown pelicans, otters, whales and dolphins, all of which have been found ill or dead in large numbers recently, or, in the case of pelicans, literally dropping dead out of the sky.

The toxin attacks the brain causing loss of motor coordination, amnesia, violent seizures, vomiting, permanent neurological damage and even heart failure within two days.

Scientist became aware of the deadly algae more than 30 years ago. In 1987, 107 people on Prince Edward Island fell ill after eating mussels harboring domoic acid.

Stay tuned to Central Coast news, like CalCoastNews on Facebook.


6 Comments

  1. No_More_Anger says:

    this, a bigger problem

    The Americas lead the world in obesity

    Quito, Aug 26, 2014 (EFE via COMTEX)

    The countries of the Americas have the highest obesity rate in the world, said Ecuador’s representative to the Pan American Health Organization on Tuesday.

    “Obesity, overweight affects at least one of every two adults and there are already some countries where it is three of every four,” PAHO’s Gina Tambini said in a meeting with reporters in Quito.

    She said that this “epidemic” is affecting children and teenagers.

    “One in every five children and teenagers is being affected and in some countries it is already one in every three. These are really alarming figures,” Tambini said, adding that the worst thing is that those levels of obesity and overweight are linked with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart problems.

    She said that the countries where the situation is the most critical include Mexico, Chile and the nations of the Caribbean.

    Meanwhile, Michel Guinand, a public policy official with Unicef, said that concern about the problem “is high in Ecuador.”

    Data from the national meeting of Health and Nutrition 2011-2013 show that two of every three Ecuadorians between ages 19 and 59 are overweight or obese.

    Changes in eating habits, especially increasing the consumption of processed products and junk food, along with low levels of physical activity, have resulted in the overweight problem among the public, according to Ecuador’s Health Ministry.

    The government is implementing various policies to maintain good health among the public and, in terms of nutrition it is currently demanding, among other measures, food labeling so that sugar, salt and fat levels, among others, can be more readily determined for each product by consumers.

    Quito this week will host the international conference on food labeling and fiscal policies regarding healthy nutrition and the prevention of obesity. EFE

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  2. Rawhide says:

    Nature’s way of “culling” the herds…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  3. Extremely Stoic says:

    The news source would not be my first choice…http://america.aljazeera.com/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

Leave a Comment