Sea Lion Mystery Solved?

How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.
(Arthur C. Clarke)

Numerous news outlets have been carrying stories relating to a supposed mystery surrounding a massive die off of California sea lions. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has assembled a team including marine biologists, veterinarians, and public health officials to investigate what they call, an “unusual mortality event”. The agency was quick to reassure us, that while radiation poisoning was an unlikely cause, it had not been ruled out. The interesting thing here is that some official agency finally dared to even mention the R word. (“NOAA Assembles Team To Investigate Ailing Sea Lion Pups”, 2013/04/06 )

Those of us who have been following the aftermath of the 3/11, Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, with 6 damaged reactors, three in ongoing meltdown; also known as “Chernobyl on steroids”, have been aware of its inevitable effect on marine life since July 2011. Already there were reports in Alaska that ice seals, and walruses, were developing sores, losing fur, becoming sick and dying. Necropsies revealed that these pinnipeds also had bleeding and swelling in their lungs, livers, lymph nodes and other internal organs, as well as depressed immune systems. Polar bears were reportedly also suffering from hair loss, skin irritations and mouth sores. Establishment experts postulated several possible causes such as toxic algae bloom, some unknown virus and my personal favorite “Arctic sunburn”. No mention of the R.word.

This omission is not so surprising, given that on March 17, 2011, US President Obama hastened to issue an official statement from the White House Rose Garden: “We do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the U.S., whether it’s the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska or US territories of the Pacific.” Morally bankrupt nuclear experts chimed in with facile assurances, that any stray particles wafting our way would be extremely diluted, and, the by now familiar mantra, “ no risk to human health” . Never mind that there is no such thing as a safe level of radiation as we are told that wind, rain and salt would surely clean the air over our vast ocean, and after all, Japan is so very far away. (“Japan Radiation Scare”, AP, 03/17,2011 ). Then in mid-July, the Obama Administration ordered the Environmental Protection Agency and government radiation monitors to shut down; and there was to be no further testing of radioactive fallout in the air, food or water.

Now in 2013, when a massive “unusual mortality event “ devastating the Golden State’s sea lion, harbor and elephant seal population can no longer be ignored, the Arctic sunburn story has been dropped in favor of “multiple and unknown factors”.

Relief from this ongoing bafflegab finally arrived, with Japanese environmental reporter Yoichi Shimatsu’s findings during a recent visit to California and the West coast of North America. The awake and aware will not be surprised to learn that he discovered the dead sea lions to be highly radioactive. In an exclusive report to, which was not replicated by any mainstream media, Mr. Shimatsu photo-documented his dosimeter readings. In one specimen, for example, we see a shocking reading of 0.48 micro Sieverts in its heart and liver regions. Examination of the gut revealed that the doomed creature had not eaten for some time, and a probable cause of death was ingestion of radioactive feed; local fish that had ingested radioactive algae, and seaweed, as well as immersion in radioactive seawater. Moving from the digestive tract into the circulatory system, nuclear isotopes, especially cesium, had bio-accumulated in the internal organs, concentrating in the heart muscle. Cesium is well known to cause cardiac difficulties, including irregular rhythm, cell abnormalities, muscle atrophy and spasms leading to seizure and arrest.

Yoichi Shimatsu has never shied away from the R word and I have carefully followed all of his reportage since the 3/11 disaster in Japan. At that time, there were few authentic voices able to surface above a toxic torrent of denial and cover-up by TEPCO, the Japanese and American governments, military, and the nuclear power controlled, corporate media outlets. Although we have never met, I consider him to be something of a kindred spirit. This may be due to the fact that we were both students at U.C. Berkeley at roughly the same time, which in retrospect was a politically, culturally and spiritually interesting, transitional era. Far more important is the impressive fact that he was quick to dodge the haze of an all pervasive denial, and recognize that this nuclear event had quite suddenly thrust all of humanity into a massive social and global trauma; threatening both survival of our species and the viability of our biosphere.

In his recent, invaluable, coverage of the “sea lion mystery” Yoichi Shimatsu continues to describe two known sources of radioactive contamination along the West Coast . You might want to pay close attention here because this information will not be widely available for reasons not difficult to imagine. One source of radioactive contamination is the North Pacific Current, conveying coolant continuously dumped from the Fukushima facility. The other is effluent from the Hanford nuclear weapons plant in Washington State contaminating the Columbia river. The environmental reporter suspects that a third nuclear culprit may be Southern California Edison at San Onofre. (Yoichi Shimatsu, “San Onofre Edison: West Coast Radiation Crisis”,, 4/30/2013 )

These sick and dying sea mammals as well as radioactive tuna are sentinels in our ecosystem and this situation is not likely to improve any time soon.

At this time, independent researchers such as Yoichi Shimatsu and California’s Michael Collins, Enviroreporter .com, are providing the latest information on the increasing contamination of the Pacific. Needless to say, this situation constitutes a very real risk to human health and we need to stay informed.

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