Humane Society Opposes Killing
by Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- The Humane Society of the United States is opposing a bill introduced by two Washington congressmen to ease federal restrictions on killing California sea lions who eat salmon near the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.
The bill would allow the killings without the normal environmental reviews.
The society's marine issues field director, Sharon Young, says killing the sea lions won't stop the decline in salmon runs because the animals aren't the main problem.
The society blames poor fisheries and water management and the dams that hinder fish passage, among other factors. It is easier, the society says, to make the sea lions the scapegoats than to address the real problems, which often are politically charged.
Sea lions eat as many as four percent of salmon runs. But the Humane Society says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has testified that birds eat more than 3 million juvenile salmon as they swim downriver.
The society says up to 40 percent of the Canadian commercial salmon catch may be of U.S. endangered species.
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