[MARMAM] Ca sea lion/salmon interaction

Sarah Wilson swilson at ocean-institute.org
Tue Aug 7 11:46:55 PDT 2007

Hello All,
I saw this posted on another listserve and thought to pose the question
to this marine mammal community on your thoughts to this matter. I spend
time every summer in Southeast Alaska so can speak to the Stellar sea
lion population in regards to fisheries interactions, herring abundance,
and population numbers....but I am not as familiar with the Pacific
northwest and the situation with California sea lions. Here in southern
California we often get questions and concerns from sports fisherman and
the number of Ca sea lions.  I would be interested to hear from those of
you working on these issues....thank you so much!
ENDANGERED SPECIES: House bill proposes to sacrifice sea lions for
Allison Winter, E&E Daily reporter
Legislation that would make it easier for states in the Northwest to
interfere with or kill protected sea lions in an effort to keep them
from wiping out endangered salmon is on the move in the House.
Del. Madeline Bordallo's (D-Guam) Fisheries and Wildlife Subcommittee
holds a hearing on, H.R. 1769, the "Endangered Salmon Predation
Prevention Act," this week.
The bill from Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) would lift some Marine Mammal
Act protections for sea lions, allowing officials in California, Oregon
and Washington to kill up to 10 sea lions or use "alternative measures"
to keep them away from salmon.
The California sea lion population has increased six-fold over the past
30 years, and in recent years more than 1,000 sea lions have started to
enter the lower part of the Columbia River during the peak spring salmon
At the Bonneville Dam, along the Columbia River in Oregon and
Washington, sea lions consumed almost 3 percent of the salmon passing
the structure last year, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. It
was seven times as many salmon as they ate five years ago. Officials at
the dam have tried "hazing" the sea lions away from the salmon, but some
have not been responsive.
Environmentalists say the real problem is not the sea lions, but the
dams, since they create an artificial situation that groups the salmon.
They want to eliminate four dams in the lower Snake River to help
restore salmon runs. American Rivers and the Humane Society have come
out against the bill.
The legislation would create an expedited permit process for parties
interested in killing the sea lions. They could "lethally remove" no
more than 10 animals a year. The bill includes a "sense of Congress"
statement that non-lethal methods of controlling the predation are
preferable to lethal methods.
Schedule: The hearing is set for 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, in 1334
Sarah Wilson

Ocean Institute                                               
Manager, Cooperation in Research and Education
(949) 496-2274 ext. 337
www.ocean-institute.org <http://www.ocean-institute.org/> 
Web Coordinator
Thank You Ocean Campaign
National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation
sarahw-thankyouocean at hotmail.com
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