California Algae Is Killing Sea Life

Algae_3 Photo courtesy of CWC.

Recently California beaches have been suffering from a domoic acid outbreak. Although there have not been any human causalities, many marine mammals have become ill and died.

The acid appears during algae blooms (difficult to determine why and when) and is also sometimes called "red tide". Furthermore, the presence of domoic acid causes amnesic shellfish poisoning. Anything that feeds on shellfish and other phytoplankton will immediately become ill.

It's a difficult sight to watch. In marine mammals, domoic acid can cause neurological damage, most likely leading to seizures.

The IFAW funded International Bird Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (IBRRC) in California has been watching and working first hand to try and rehabilitate animals that are suffering because of the outbreak.

Here's video from NBC Nightly News that features the Center and bird rescue expert Jay Holcomb.

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