Letter: Tom Osborne’s Column ‘Who Speaks for the Sea Mammals?’

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We all need help sometimes, but the main reasons these marine mammals need our help is because of problems we have created. As Tom Osborne summarized them: climate change; Domoic acid (from fertilizer runoff); DDT dumping; gunshot wounds; fish hooks and other fishing gear.

I found the climate threat to be the most frightening for them (and for us). The main reason so many young mammals beach themselves is they are malnourished. The cold water fish they need to survive are swimming deeper and farther out than they used to, seeking that cold water. The nursing moms must now be gone longer from their babies when they feed. As the pups near six months old, they start to get a little more adventurous, but they are not yet strong enough to follow their moms into the deepest water. Then they get separated and cannot catch enough food to continue to grow strong.

Thank goodness for the wonderful people and resources at PMMC! They do all they can here and it is truly an amazing facility. I was so impressed by the thought and level of care that obviously goes into helping the patients at the PMMC recover and hopefully be able to live longs lives back in their wild home, the ocean. Now, can we humans start by protecting them before they get to the point of needing the more extreme measures the PMMC offers? Yes, we can. Let’s all work to make the planet, and thus ourselves, healthier by taking actions to mitigate climate change and pollution of all sorts.

Melissa Waters, Laguna Niguel

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