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"Diseased" Seals along the Alaskan Coast

Discussion of the distribution and abundance of living organisms and how these properties are affected by interactions between the organisms and their environment

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"Diseased" Seals along the Alaskan Coast

Postby mnunes » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:18 pm

New here.
I just want to post a rebuttal to an article I read today regarding a number of diseased seals being observed in the Pacific.
I am by no stretch a biologist, but the symptoms they are exhibiting seem remarkably close to radiation poisoning. NOAA says there is no indication it is related to the Fukushima plant but also mentions nothing of actually testing the dead seals for higher than normal levels of heavy metals. It seems seals would be quite vulnerable, as I know they feed on migrating schools of fish that could have easily come into contact with radioactive waste. And since seals come to shore, they might be one of the easiest creatures to identify the sickness in.
I'm curious to hear more educated opinions on the matter.
Here is the article via AP news:
http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_21800/content ... d=l0aIg45u
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Postby mnunes » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:06 pm

The symptoms I am aware of are blistering of the snout, lesions, balding, lethargy, and abnormal growths on the brain. Also some mention of changes in the appearance of the liver and of course death.
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Re: "Diseased" Seals along the Alaskan Coast

Postby JorgeLobo » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:31 pm

I'd not say a rebuttal per se but i do wonder why NOAA said no relationship to Fukushima. They said they saw similarly affected animals in July and the disaster was in March/April
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Postby mnunes » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:52 am

Apologies, I should have worded myself better. To call it simply a reply then will be more appropriate. My FIRST order of business would be to check these guys for heavy metals to be sure there was no link, because I theorize there may be. However, I would be sincerely surprised to find such tests have not already been carried out by someone, either independent or federal. I am hoping a report or two will arise and dismiss my theory altogether. But I don't want to see this downplayed in an effort to protect industry. I live near the Mississippi Gulf Coast and I watched such scenario unfold with the deepwater horizon spill last year. The fishermen had no work, then suddenly everything was ok to eat again. But I don't think anyone really knew that. And I don't think anyone really knows that nuke plant isn't directly trashing everything within 500 miles, and indirectly trashing things further out than that.
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Postby JorgeLobo » Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:05 am

Not heavy metals per se -Mercury Arsenic CadmiumLead etc. could indeed provoke toxicity but wouldn't necessarily implicte from Fukushima.
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