There was a recent post that showed that there has been a significant decline in the small fish that the sea lions eat. Investigators from Scripps looked at the forager fish that were caught in the intake of five power plants on the coast of California.
The bulk average of fish from the early power plant recordings (1972-1983) declined by 78 percent compared with more recent years (1990-2010). They report that this decline explains the recent outbreak of malnutrition that has been previously reported in sea lion pups.
This does not explain why the drop was so precipitous this year, if they are looking at a 20 year window. There is no explanation for why these forager fish are declining in population.
- Sea lion update, June 11, 2013 (vernonradiationsafety.wordpress.com)
- Sea Lion Pup Crisis ~ Twitter Challenge (elizabethfais.wordpress.com)