Kill California sea lions?

March 19, 2012

The U.S. Government has authorized the limited killing of California sea lions in an attempt to protect endangered Columbia River salmon in Oregon and Washington. [LaredoSun]

On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) approved the sanctioned killing of California sea lions in an attempt to stop the hungry mammals from swimming upstream and gathering at the Bonneville Dam, on the border between Oregon and Washington state, to eat salmon and steelhead trout as the fish head up the Columbia River to spawn.

Critics of the approved killings contend fishing, hatchery practices, hydroelectric dam barriers and environmental degradation pose a far greater risk to fish stock numbers than sea lions.

“We are very disappointed in this decision,” said Sharon Young, marine issues field director for the Humane Society of the United States, to the Laredo Sun. “Lethal management is not necessary and will do nothing to help the salmon.”

While both the salmon and sea lions populations are protected by the federal government – the salmon by the Endangered Species Act and the sea lions by the Marine Mammal Protection Act – sea lion populations are thriving while salmon numbers are dwindling.

Several countries that border the Pacific Ocean are now blaming the overpopulation of  sea lions, slated at up to 10 times the mammals normal population numbers,  for the severe drop in fish stocks.

In February, the Chilean government officially approved the hunting of sea lions with the meat to be used for dog food. Government officials in Chili claim the overpopulation of sea lions is responsible for losses of $140 million (U.S. dollars) yearly, the Santiago Sun said.

California sea lions currently number nearly 300,000 along the West Coast, according to the NOAA.

The NOAA order allows the killing of sea lions in Washington and Oregon if they are spotted eating salmon, and the mammals refuse to quit after hazing such as the use of firecrackers and rubber buckshot, the Laredo Sun said.


12 Comments

  1. Spirit Filled says:

    Fishermen will line up to kill the little boogers. They remove bait right off your hook when you try to get to the bottom. They also scare the fish away.

    Where’s the line begin? There will be a lot of sport fisherman in it. I will be first. I have a great aim.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  2. Maxfusion says:

    Hey I’ve got it, next earth day the overlords of nature can meet, after the dirt dance rave of course, and club the seals to death. Film it, and then their friends can watch on you tube. Think of all the texting, twittering, and tweeting possibilities. Maybe we could call it The Earth Day Binary Blood Bath Festival.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  3. mrcyberdoc says:

    Rather than make all of it into dog food, how about sending some to the small villages in Alaska where Eskmos still depend on seals and whales for part of their diet. I’m sure a couple well placed dead seals would be a happy meal for polar bears as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  4. standup says:

    Good, kill the fur bags. They hardly ever ate salmon before man gave them the opportunity. Now, it is their staple and the population has risen because of it. The humane society is a joke. They have tried and are infiltrating the Fish and Game and pressuring their whacked out agenda on hunting opportunities. Just recently, the head of the F & G commission went to Idaho to LEGALLY hunt and kill a mountain lion. He posted his success in Western Outdoor News and the shit hit the fan. The liberals in the state government tried to oust him for slapping them in the face. It made no sense as what he did was legal. The Humane Society is up in arms over it. Well Humane Society, tough shit. Give me permission on opening day of salmon season and I will kill sea lions too. I have lost fish and gear to them many times.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

  5. Maxfusion says:

    I see, legislated slaughter by nature’s overlords. Well, I guess they’re “saving the planet”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  6. Vagabond says:

    They should issue licenses and tags, just like deer. Seal is supposed to be quite tasty, it’s a shame to waste an animal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

  7. Spirit Filled says:

    It’s about time. I have advocated this for years. They must have listened by accident.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

  8. Typoqueen says:

    To bad that there isn’t a better way to control their population. I would have thought that with the recent large increase within the shark population that this wouldn’t be an issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 19

    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      Has there been a large increase in the shark population recently? Last I heard they were being threatened by overfishing so that certain oriental countries could get their fill of shark fin soup.

      In any case, I don’t think sharks are too likely to follow the sea lions up the Columbia 100 miles or so. If the Sea Lions adapt to that environment, they will be at the top of that food chain. Yes, man needs to step in and do the controlling here just as with deer herds where the natural predators are rare.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

      • Typoqueen says:

        You might be right, now that I think about it I believe that what I read was that sharks are coming closer to shore. The idea would be that sharks go for the seals before they go up the Columbia River.

        I understand that sometimes herds need to be thinned out. I do worry when man messes with nature but because of man we sometimes have to mess with nature ie thinning herds.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

    • Maxfusion says:

      Of course there’s a better way Typo, just leave them to their natural cycles. Now google up the government slaughter of Barr owls because the pinhead bureaucrats have abandoned their “logging is driving the northern spotted owl to extinction” and now blame it on the Barr owl. But wait I forgot, they’re saving the planet.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  9. Ugluk says:

    Some culling of the herd out at Port San Luis would be nice as well.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 34 Thumb down 3

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