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animal rights | environment

Another Sea Lion Found Dead, Trapping Program Ended for the Year

Another sea lion has been found dead on the Columbia, as the death toll rises. This one was just found this afternoon, floating in the water near the I-5 bridge. Officials have not commented on the cause of death, but one would not be unreasonable to conclude that humans had a hand in it. In the wake of at least 8 deaths related to the government trapping, officials have just called off any plans to trap, kill, or imprison any more sea lions this year. Now, apparently, they can just sit back and let the fishermen do their dirty work for them.
I would like to report that the remaining sea lions have received a temporary reprieve, but I cannot: There is no telling how many more will be found bleeding in the water, victims of fanatical fishermen and human aggression. Meanwhile, officials weigh the options for next year, and a court battle continues. Since the hunting and trapping has been ended for this year, the hearing scheduled for later this week in the 9th circuit court of appeals to determine the status of the injunction against shooting has been canceled. However, the legal fight is far from over.

The plan to trap and shoot sea lions has been halted for this season, but the specter still looms on the horizon for next unless we can stop this madness for good. To that end, the Humane Society of the United States, the Wild Fish Conservancy, and two individual plaintiffs will continue to press on with their lawsuit, declaring the killing to be illegal under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

On a related side note, three of us spoke with an Army Corps of Engineers volunteer yesterday, and learned that the day before the sea lions were killed in their traps was a banner day for the salmon. Even with sea lions out in the river, approximately ten thousand fish went through the dam in a single day. Interestingly, the number of salmon had been lower than expected... until the fishing was halted on the Columbia. Since then, many more fish have been making it past the dam. Once again, clear evidence that it is not the sea lions whose predation is destroying the salmon runs.

If you can get to the Columbia, please watch the sea lions' backs. There are some dangerous, creepy people out there.

Why is none of this getting featured? 06.May.2008 16:16

Just wondering

I'm surprised none of this is getting featured! Even the person who reported back from the protest at the Dams did not get the article featured. All of this should be on the front page of Indy as it is being reported by Indy reporters. The killing and trapping has been called off....but that is just from the government. We need to be in numbers and watching out for cruel angry stupid people wanting to kill the Sea Lions.

river lions !! 06.May.2008 17:27

ark ark ark ark

The dumb-asses out there in the world repeat with surprising frequency the questionable assertion that "sea lions" don't "belong" in the Columbia because it's a "river" not a "sea." That is, because some human being some time centuries ago saw an animal out in the Mediterranean or whatever and called it a "sea lion," somehow this human label defines the limits its natural habitat.

Maybe we should start calling them "river lions."