2015-2021 Guadalupe Fur Seal and 2015 Northern Fur Seal Unusual Mortality Event in California, Oregon and Washington (CLOSED)
The Unusual Mortality Event (UME) involving Guadalupe and northern fur seals that began in January 2015 is over.
The Unusual Mortality Event (UME) involving Guadalupe and northern fur seals that began in January 2015 is over. The event was investigated by NOAA Fisheries and partners and was defined as occurring from January 1, 2015, to September 2, 2021, along the California, Oregon, and Washington coastlines.
715 Guadalupe fur seals and 170 northern fur seals stranded during the event. The majority of strandings between 2015 and 2021 were malnourished and emaciated weaned pups and yearlings (<2 years old). Based on necropsy, histopathology, diagnostic and environmental findings, the UME was attributed to malnutrition in Guadalupe and northern fur seals from ecological factors in the Pacific Ocean causing suboptimal prey conditions. These suboptimal prey conditions were most likely driven by unusually warm water oceanographic conditions in the Pacific Ocean at the time due to the “Warm Water Blob”, El Niño, and several ocean heatwaves.
Guadalupe Fur Sea Data
Northern Fur Seal Data