It is an indication of the severity of the situation for sea life in the Pacific Ocean off the West Coast of the US when sea lions are reported attacking West Coast fishermen as food stocks dwindle.
Our video shows a more friendly encounter between a sea lion and a fishermen but we have received a report of a much more serious incident where the individual could have been killed.
A fisherman recently had a violent altercation with a sea lion at a San Diego marina. As he was holding a large fish and posing for a picture, a sea lion jumped from the water, hopped on deck and lunged at the man and his prized catch. The sea lion effectively took the fish and pulled the man into the ocean. San Diego Fire Rescue spokesman Lee Swanson reported that the violent altercation resulted in the fisherman being carried underwater for 15 breathtaking seconds. When the man was rescued, he was taken to a local hospital and treated for cuts on his arm and hand.
The West Coast ecosystem is in a state of dire collapse. The Southern California sea lion population is dwindling to new lows as countless hungry and emaciated pups wash ashore. There’s simply not enough food to go around for the mammals. Some believe the acidity of the waters is intensifying, not allowing certain species of fish to survive. The sudden decline in sardine biomass off the West coast is directly impacting larger animals in the food chain like the Southern California sea lions. A record number of these beautiful sea mammals have been rescued since 2013, when an unusual “mortality event” was declared. As the animals struggle to find food, some appear to be getting vicious and may now attack humans for food.