Jenna Ushkowitz Wants to Keep Sea Lions from Starving - Oceana USA

Jenna Ushkowitz Wants to Keep Sea Lions from Starving

Press Release Date: November 12, 2015

Location: Monterey, CA


Dustin Cranor, APR | email: | tel: 954.348.1314


Oceana released a new public service announcement (PSA) today to spread awareness about the dire consequences ocean wildlife are facing due to a lack of food. The PSA features actress and ocean activist, Jenna Ushkowitz—from the hit television series Glee— urging the public to help her and Oceana keep sea lions from starving. In advance of decisions by West Coast fishery managers this month, a separate 90-second Q&A with the actress describes how the crash of Pacific sardines has left California sea lion pups malnourished.

Jenna Ushkowitz noted, “Sea lions rely on forage fish for survival, but years of overfishing have put this important food source in jeopardy. We need to stop this and replenish.”

Forage fish are disappearing because of overfishing and changing ocean conditions. Alarmingly, sardines have declined by 91 percent since 2007 and the anchovy population has collapsed to a historic low. On her free dive off Santa Barbara Island, Jenna described her encounter with an emaciated sea lion pup as “heartbreaking.” There’s just not enough forage fish to go around and the impacts are not just limited to sea lions.

Brown pelicans—removed only recently from the Endangered Species List—have experienced massive reproduction failures. Humpback whales congregated in nearshore Monterey Bay, California over the summer as it was one of the only places they could find the last remaining anchovy schools. Other species that rely on sardines and anchovies include sharks, dolphins, seals, salmon, and tuna, to name a few.  Some species of marine wildlife switch to eat other prey when their first choice is unavailable; however, the menu of options is getting quite slim.

On Sunday, November 15, federal fishery managers are meeting in Garden Grove, California to decide whether to fix sardine and anchovy management. Urgent action is needed to ensure enough forage fish are left in the ocean to rebuild depleted fish populations and feed ocean predators. Now is the time for precautionary management to prevent overfishing from happening while ensuring sustainable fisheries into the future.

Join the campaign to save forage fish at

15 second PSA

90 second Q&A