By Peter Wallerstein, Marine Animal Rescue (MAR)
We tried for over a month to rescue this sea lion. We tried using the floating net technique, paddling up in a kayak, approaching from a boat. But nothing worked, she eluded rescue each time. Having other sea lions on the buoy with her complicated this rescue.
Today, approaching in an inflatable boat we successfully rescued the injured sea lion from the Cerritos Channel Buoy.
It's been puzzling us what the material was that was strangling the sea lion. It wasn’t a fishing net or any kind of commercial fishing gear. Over the past 6 months we’ve seen other sea lions with this same type of material wrapped tightly around their necks. It was a mystery until today.
I’m sorry to have to share this information, but I feel it’s important. The above sea lion on the right died shortly after the rescue. Her suffering will not go unnoticed.
What is strangling the life out of these animals? Plastic packing straps.
This sea lion has a plastic strap around his neck. MAR has on-going efforts in Redondo Beach to rescue the sea lion.
Some of the plastic straps are purple, like the one on this male sea lion.
MAR will do everything we can to help authorities track down the source of the plastic packing straps and we will also use this incident to educate the public on the tremendous hazards of plastic materials ending up in the ocean.
Marine animals are suffering and dying from plastics in the ocean.
Yes, it hurts us a great deal too. But we must remain focused, because there are other animals out there in need of MAR’s assistance.