Home > Animal welfare, Conservation, Health, Oceans and fisheries, Pollution > Marine mammals are ‘swimming in sick seas’ of pathogens

Marine mammals are ‘swimming in sick seas’ of pathogens

Parasites and pathogens are increasingly being detected in marine mammals such as sea otters, porpoises, harbour seals and killer whales along the Pacific coast of the U.S. and Canada, according to a panel of scientific experts. It seems this is the inevitable result of diminishing wetland marshes, increased run-off from urban areas near the coast, and lower water quality.

Why does it matter? Here’s how Andrew Trites of UBC’s Marine Mammal Research Unit puts it: “We can expect increased health risks for humans, pets and marine mammals sharing the same polluted marine habitat — including along the shorelines right here in downtown Vancouver. In a way, marine mammals are the canary in the coal mine — we must consider ourselves warned and take appropriate action.”

Marine mammals are ‘swimming in sick seas’ of terrestrial pathogens.

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