Announcing Another "Name Those Sea Lions" Contest
Nine more sea lions have just been added to the growing list of animals whom the State plans to execute, should they be able to catch them. The addition to the kill list is a dire matter for these animals. Less than two months ago, Freddy (aka C00) was added to the kill list, and this week he was captured in a trap. He was put to death as a result.
The ODFW would like for these animals to die quietly, out of the realm of public perception. They do not want anyone to care. And so, if it were up to the ODFW, news would trickle out of the dam slowly, if at all. There would be no images of the sea lions unless they had fish in their mouths and photoshopped "angry eyes." There would be no access to the story about who these animals really are, or the important place that they occupy in our ecosystem. (The ODFW only grudgingly admits that they are, in fact, native to this region, and native to the Columbia. They would prefer that people not know that, and for the most part, people don't.)
We believe that the vast majority of the public does care about protecting marine mammals, and that most people do care about what is happening in our ecosystem. So we want people to know that sea lions are dying for no reason on the Columbia river. They are being killed for the crime of eating fish (in at least one case, for eating only one fish), at the same time that human predation upon salmon is increasing every year.
There are many people right here in Cascadia who still do not know what is happening to these animals on the banks of the Columbia. And there are many people throughout the United States who are unaware that this is happening, and that this is being used as a "test case" which could open up the floodgates of killing seals, sea lions, and even orcas and other marine mammals all over the country in order to prop up the failing fishing industry. We want the public to know.
One of the ways to help people understand this issue is to introduce them to the animals in the line of fire. When people can meet and identify with these animals, it helps them to become interested enough in the issue to learn more. (And once they do their own research and start learning more, they discover that killing sea lions is not saving salmon, that the lethal removal program is a failure, and that no species has ever been saved by killing off natural predators.)
So please help us to name the nine animals who were just added to the kill list. Of the nine sea lions just added, 6 stand accused of eating fewer than 10 fish. These, remember, were supposed to have been "only the worst offenders" of those oft-described "ravenous" and "gluttonous" and "salmon-scarfing" sea lions. One of the animals just added, C971, was found guilty of eating only 3 fish.
Please see the SLDB website for more information, including brand numbers, of the sea lions who were just added and then help us to name them. You may post suggestions here, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Incidentally, this morning on OPB's "Think Out Loud" series, Chef Higgins talked about the relative culinary merits of wild vs hatchery vs farmed fish. Chef Higgins says wild fish are better, and so this is what he serves to his customers. He says that he's been out fishing with the people who kill those fish for him, and when asked by the host whether it wouldn't be better to stop serving wild fish since they are endangered, he responded that (to paraphrase) once caught, they're dead anyway so what the heck. He noted that "catch and release" doesn't work, so when he gets a box of fish it's always a mix of wild and hatchery fish and that the wild fish is best. He says it's easy to tell the difference. Other guests agreed that "catch and release" does not work and is not practical. So basically, sea lions are being put to death for the crime of eating their native prey, while Chef Higgins is serving these same salmon up to well heeled customers without consequence. Seems ironic at best.
address: Sea Wolf One, Banks of the Columbia River, Republic of Cascadia
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