To bypass federal protections of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Oregon and Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW & WDFW) applied for special permission to kill sea lions under section 120 of the Act. Shockingly, in their Environmental Assessment to justifying the killing they claim that the 4 percent of the spring salmon run the sea lions eat is making a "significant impact" on the salmon recovery, while at the same time claiming that the 13 percent of the same endangered salmon run they allow fisherman to take in is an "insignificant impact."
State officials dodge difficult questions
At a news conference last Friday jointly sponsored by ODFW and WDFW, state officials responsible for the decision to kill sea lions ignored tough questions asked by IDA and members of the independent media. To watch a brief video synopsis of this event, goto: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lBsxsR3Ha0&feature=channel_page
Sea lions scapegoated
The real threats to the recovery of collapsed salmon populations revolves around human caused problems—over-fishing, dams, and habitat destruction. Sea lions are being scapegoated, but killing sea lions is not going to solve these core problems, and the money being wasted on state-sanctioned killing is better spent on other conservation strategies.
Legislators need to hear from wildlife advocates who want both the salmon and the sea lions protected! If you live in Washington or Oregon, contact them immediately and diplomatically voice your outrage about this government sanctioned executions of sea lions and let them know killing them will not solve the salmon crisis. To contact your legislators or find out who they are, goto:
Washington residents: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx
Oregon residents: http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/
Even if you can't make it tomorrow, please let us know if you want to get more involved in this campaign to stop the sea lion killing. In upcoming weeks activists will be organizing ongoing on-site monitoring to report and document the killing. To get involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org or IDA at 503-249-9996.