Sea lions have been having a hard time lately. Between climate change and overfishing, more and more of these animals are finding themselves in desperate situations. Such was the case back in December 2015, when rescuers from Pacific Marine Mammal Center received a call about a gravely injured sea lion, later named Final Cut, out on a jetty. The animal was reported to have a fishing line wrapped around his neck and when the team arrived, they realized just how serious the sea lion’s condition really was.
Not only was a plastic fishing line puncturing the animal’s neck, but he was also emaciated, weighing just 54 pounds.
The team went out with the Newport Harbor Patrol to get onto the jetty and reach him.
Rescuers used a net to get Final Cut off of the large rocks.
Back at the center, the fishing line was removed and his wounds were cleaned. After some time, he even started to compete for fish with his pen mates.
Two months later, Final Cut is still on the road to recovery but is making promising improvements. He’s already gained 10 pounds!
While Final Cut is currently in rehabilitation, there are many more sea lions who have fallen victim to our fishing habit. “Roughly 10 to 12 percent of our patients are here as a result of manmade injuries. Of that 95 percent are from fishing line and hooks,” rescuers said in an email. The Pacific Marine Mammal Center team hopes that Final Cut will be able to make a full recovery from his injuries, but he still has a long way to go. To learn more about how you can help protect marine animals through your daily actions, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign.