Oil spills: oil is especially dangerous to sea otters as it penetrates their fur and destroys its buoyancy and insulating capacity.
Encounters with boats: boats contribute to marine noise pollution and can strike marine mammals.Entanglement in fishing gear and marine debris: seal pups that have swallowed fish hooks have been admitted to the Rescue Centre.
Beaching: we do not know why cetaceans (whales and dolphins) beach themselves, but their immense weight crushes their organs and their need for moisture results in death on land.
Illness: malnourishment is the most common illness and prevails with orphaned seal pups. Marine mammals are also vulnerable to viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infections.
Pollution: marine debris (see above) and chemical pollutants are found in the ocean, impacting marine mammals or the food they eat.
Disability: some marine mammals have physical disabilities that affect their survival in the wild.
Abandonment: on rare occasions, marine mammals abandon their young. Note: be cautious when identifying animals as “abandoned.” When hunting for food, mother seals can leave pups onshore for many hours and may not return if they see someone near the pup.