Sea Lion Defense Brigade is looking for people to monitor the government trapping sites intended to trap, relocate a few, and kill dozens of sea lions. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) do not want people to witness or record these events.
The situation currently:
Fishermen and government employees are violently hazing the sea lions at the Bonneville Dam (40 miles east of Portland on I84) everyday. Two traps are set up by the dam and are visible from the Washington side of the Columbia River. Two California sea lions have already been put to death by lethal injection and another 83 are on the list of execution. Another trapping and branding site is in Astoria, OR.
If the state fails to catch sea lions by the traps, they announced that they will 'humanely' shoot them in the water once a particular sea lion has been identified. To view this list, go to http://sealiondefensebrigade.org/?page_id=109. These are the repeat offenders of, uh, eating fish.
The verdict to kill sea lions is based off of narrow-sighted decision making in which the sea lions are being blamed for the decline in salmon. The government is spending $450,000 a year to kill up to 85 sea lions for the next five years when they could be putting that money towards real salmon recovery efforts that address real problems.
Killing sea lions will not save salmon. Addressing the dams, pollution, and overfishing will.
-dams kill 50%-75% of salmon in their turbines every year
-Fishing quotas have been raised the last few years from 9%- 12% to now 13% currently estimated that the take is actually closer to 17%
-Sea lions eat 0.4%- 4.2% of salmon, but, ironically, the vast majority of their diets consists of non-salmon, often fish that would otherwise prey on or out-compete with salmon
What can you do?
-Patrol, Witness, and Record. The government really does not want the public to witness the killing of sea lions. Go to the trapping sites (at the Bonneville dam and one in Astoria) and record any hazing or killing you see going on. Spend a few days out there if you can, there is camping nearby. Bring your camera or even better, your camcorder to witness the treatment of these creatures. This could be our best weapon in deterring the violent abuse being brought down on the sea lions.
-If you are willing to go out, but don't have any recording devices, contact us, we may be able to provide you with something.
-If you witness killing, contact us so we can alert the public and the press
-We want your photos and recordings because they could be used in an ongoing legal battle that could overturn this decision. We are collecting evidence. The Humane Society is appealing a decision made by a federal judge to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. However, the case cannot be heard at the present, so the ODFW and WDFW are taking this opportunity to undermine the lawsuit before a decision can be handed down, violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act (1972). We need to get our cameras on the river now!
Interested? Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org