Six Sea Lions Killed
by The Humane Society
This week, six California sea lions were killed at Bonneville Dam in the Columbia River simply for doing what comes naturally -- eating fish. Under a permit issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service, the states of Oregon and Washington used lethal injections to kill these sea lions, who were branded and marked for death in 2013.
Sharon Young, marine wildlife protection field director for The HSUS said: "Killing a sea lion won't help salmon recovery. Sea lions come and go from the Dam. Killing them simply distracts from the fact that the major factors affecting salmon recovery remain largely unaddressed. This lethal program costs tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars each year and wastes not only that money but the lives of the sea lions whose deaths accomplish nothing."
State managers have predicted a spring salmon return of 227,000 fish in the Columbia River Basin. Under a court-approved quota system, commercial, recreational and tribal fishermen would be allowed to take up to 12 percent of these fish. Although state and federal fishery managers consider this level sustainable, the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho have claimed that salmon predation by sea lions at Bonneville Dam -- which averaged less than one percent over the last three years -- is unacceptable and requires immediate lethal reprisals.
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