A large Dec. 17 article bemoans the plight of sick sea lions (“Stranded sea lions suffering from brain damage caused by algal blooms”). A naturally occurring toxic bloom is causing domoic-acid poisoning in many sea lions. This is a natural phenomenon. It often happens during an El Niño year.
Before the Marine Mammal Protection Act was passed, California Fish and Wildlife kept the sea lion population at a sustainable 40,000. The MMPA prohibited any culling of these animals. You cannot annoy, molest or harass these mammals. Now the population has exploded to approximately half a million animals along our coast. The writer of the article grossly underestimates the number of these mammals. No one denies the overpopulation.
We are wasting millions of dollars helping the weaker members of the species. Evolution, according to Charles Darwin, improves the species by letting the weaker members of the species die out. This is called “natural selection.” With massive overpopulation of sea lions, why not let natural selection do its work. We could use the millions of dollars wasted on sea lion hospitals for the benefit of sick humans.
Melvin de la Motte, San Luis Obispo
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