It’s anyone’s guess why temperatures in the Pacific Ocean are heating up off the coast of Southern California. Is a natural El Niño effect occurring, or is there something more sinister happening under the blue ocean waters? Off the coast of California, drastic signs of a rapidly changing Pacific Ocean are cropping up. Warmer currents have forced species of fish away from the coast. A massive fish migration, coupled with typical overfishing, has led to dwindling populations of key species like sardines, oysters, shellfish, scallops and krill.

As the aquatic species move away from the coast in search of a better habitat, the sentinel California sea lion population is suffering. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that more than 3,000 sea lion pups have become stranded in 2015. The Marine Mammal Center is sending out veterinarians to rescue the stranded sea lions so they can be nursed back to health. FULL REPORT