Federal officials won’t rule out Fukushima nuclear disaster for beached sea lions in California

Raw Story

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stopped short of dismissing the theory that fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan is to blame for a recent rash of beached sea lions around Southern California.

“Radiation is being looked at, just like everything else. We haven’t ruled it out, but we really don’t suspect this at all,” said Jim Milbury, who works with the agency’s National Marine Fisheries Service. “We don’t suspect radiation because this would also mean other animals in the ocean would be affected, especially in the oceans of Hawaii, closer to Japan, and we haven’t seen any of that.”

KNSD-TV reported on Sunday that 1,100 sea lions have washed ashore in beaches stretching from San Diego to Santa Barbara, many of them suffering from malnutrition and other ailments. San Diego county alone has reported 214 beached animals between Jan. 1 and March 21, compared to 32 sea lions washing ashore during the same period in 2012.

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