Sea Lions may be Killed to Save Salmon
Fish & Fly, January 21, 2008
Around 30 salmon-chomping seal lions a year may be slaughtered to protect stocks of fish in the Columbia River.
Under a proposal by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), they could be rounded up, held for 48 hours and then killed if a suitable home could not be found for them in a zoo, aquarium or research centre.
The problem has arisen because the sea lions have been using the Bonneville Dam on the river as their own personal banqueting suite resulting in approximately four per cent of all salmon arriving at the dam being gobbled.
Washington, Oregon and Idaho States petitioned NMFS to allow the slaughter of sea lions targeting the spring runs of salmon arriving at the Bonneville Dam.
Fidelia Andy, chairwoman of the Columbian River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, told local newspaper, The Columian: "Lack of action toward the real and immediate threat of sea lion predation is unacceptable."
Reports indicate that last year observers had witnessed sea lions chomp their way through almost 4,000 salmon, from January 1st through to May 31st.
Research: Which Salmon Hit Hardest by Sea Lions and Seals by Columbia Basin Bulletin, Chinook Observer, 1/3/8
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