UPDATE: 2 SEA LIONS HAVE BEEN MURDERED AT THE BONNEVILLE DAM!
Call Oregon gov Kitzhaber (503)378-4582
Washington gov Gregiore: (360)902-4111
Another year, another call for sea lion blood on the Columbia River. Ever since Congress amended the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) in 1994 to allow states the ability to kill sea lions that they deem to be “having a significant negative impact on … salmon”, sea lions have been under attack. Every year, Washington and Oregon submit a new application to the NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service) to kill sea lions near the Bonneville Dam, even though it has been proven time and time again that murdering them makes little difference.
The ignorance behind these killings is obvious. The Bonneville Dam is the main problem, it kills up to 75% of salmon and creates an unnatural blockade on an otherwise free-flowing river. Couple that with habitat destruction, upstream hatcheries and overfishing by humans and you can easily see why the salmon are disappearing. But like a broken record, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) only wants to discuss their favorite scapegoat, the sea lions. They believe that they only have 3 options; capture wild sea lions and send them to Sea World, chemically euthanize them, or put a bullet in their head.
Just look what happens when animal advocates try and speak up for the sea lions.
This year may be different, it seems that Sea Shepherd may end up getting in on the action.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is considering descending on Bonneville dam to protest the imminent culling of California sea lions, after a US Humane Society lawsuit curtailed but failed to halt the killing.
Sea Shepherd’s call-to-arms followed more than a week’s worth of outrage from groups opposing the plan to lethally remove up to 92 California sea lions from the Bonneville Dam area in an effort to protect salmon.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society claims the agency is looking at the wrong culprit. “Although sea lions do eat fish,” they said, “they only consume between 0.4% and 4.2% of the 80,000 to 300,000 salmon that spawn in the Columbia River each year.” Human fishing they added, accounts for 16% of the adult salmon from the river, while non-native sport-fishing species consume up to 3 million young salmon a year and birds eat up to 18 percent.
Hopefully, with Sea Shepherd’s very loud voice, the sea lions can finally swim free. For the health of the river, the salmon, and the sea lions, we should stop scapegoating, focus squarely on the true enemy and