The Peruvian authorities are currently investigating the mysterious death of more than 500 sea lions found rotting on a beach. The environmental police said that the dead sea lions were discovered on a beach in Santa province, 400 km north of Lima.
The police is investigating the complaint coming from the governor of the Samanco district who claims the sea mammals were poisoned by the fishermen and marine farmers who are looking for shellfish.
Sea lions come very close to the shore in order to feed on seafood and scallops. The city workers are gathering the corpses of the 500 sea lions, which were a public health hazard.
This is not the first time sea lions have been found dead on a beach. At the beginning of November, the authorities investigated the death of 187 sea lions found in the Piura region, in the north side of Peru. Among the sea lions there were dead dolphins, sea turtles and many pelicans.
The wildlife officials are currently investigating the cause of death of these marine animals. Some of the causes taken into consideration include disease, entanglement in fishers’ nets or ingesting of plastic trash.
In 2012 the bodies of hundreds of dolphins were found on Peruvian beaches. The government of Peru issued a health alert on its northern coastline after more than 900 dead dolphins and 5000 birds were washed up on the shores in May 2012.
At that time many environmentalists believed the animals’ cause of death may have been the noises and the waves caused by the oil exploration ships in the oceans. The Sea Institute of Peru ruled out this possibility and said the animals died of natural causes.
The Sea Institute of Peru representatives said:
“Throughout the year, there have been abnormal conditions in our sea that have altered the natural distribution of marine organisms. The changes in Anchoveta entailed events seabird mortality and recently also see sea lions dead and stranded.“