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Hawaiian monk seal pup with a plastic bottle
In the News

Salon: Seals, the Chunky Einsteins of the Ocean, Are Dying Painfully Due to Plastic Pollution

July 2, 2022
  • Entanglement
  • Ocean trash

Intelligent, strong and top predators, seals are suffering from human acts and wastefulness

Published in Salon on July 2, 2022

They called the sea lion Blonde Bomber.

As Adam Ratner shared the plucky marine mammal's story with Salon, his voice welled up with affection. Blonde Bomber's story is just one among many in which a pinniped has nearly lost its life to plastic pollution, but it was clear that Blonde Bomber struck a special chord.

"Pier 39 is a place in basically downtown San Francisco that is kind of a mass tourist attraction," Ratner, the associate director of conservation education at The Marine Mammal Center, told Salon. Sea lions will often pop up to the delight of tourists – but in Blonde Bomber's case, they also noticed that he had some kind of plastic strap stuck around his neck. He needed help, and people reached out to The Marine Mammal Center because they cared.

Read the story

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Adam Ratner
California Sea Lion