Don't Kill the Bonneville Sea Lions
On March 15, 2012, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States Department of Commerce, authorized the states of Idaho, Oregon and Washington to take lethal measures to remove up to 92 California sea lions from the Bonneville Dam. Per the letter signed by James H. Lecky, Director, Office of Protected Resources, the animals identified to be predators of endangered salmon can be shot by qualified marksmen as soon as MARCH 20, 2012! According to the Humane Society of the United States "killing sea lions will do little more than waste their lives with no appreciable benefit to the fish."
MARCH 22 URGENT UPDATE: A FEDERAL JUDGE TODAY DENIED A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER FILED BY THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES. PER THE JUDGE'S RULING, UP TO 30 SEA LIONS CAN BE KILLED BY LETHAL INJECTION. A SPOKESPERSON FOR THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE SAYS THEY HAVE TRAPS IN PLACE & ARE READY TO BEGIN KILLING! For more follow this link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-environment/judge-limits-but-does-not-stop-killing-sea-lions-to-save-salmon-at-bonneville-dam/2012/03/22/gIQAj2UqTS_story.html
March 22 UPDATE #2 - Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is now involved! Who wants to be a DAM GUARDIAN? http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/2012/03/22/us-district-court-ruling-could-allow-state-wildlife-agencies-to-kill-460-federally-protected-califor-1358
URGENT UPDATE: As of April 12, 2012, FOUR sea lions have been killed by lethal injection at the Bonneville Dam. The current ruling by a federal judge allows for the killing of up to 30 sea lions! PLEASE sign & share the petition AND call Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber at (503) 378-4582 & Washington Governor Chris Gregoire at (360) 902-4111 AND TELL THEM TO CALL OFF THE CULL!
PLEASE DO NOT BE SILENT ON THIS MATTER! LIVES ARE AT STAKE!
For background on James Lecky, the controversial federal official who authorized the killings, follow this link: http://www.examiner.com/animal-advocacy-in-washington-dc/controversial-federal-bureacrat-signs-death-warrant-for-92-california-sea-lions
This brief video provides important insights into those who are running the killing operation at the Bonneville Dam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lBsxsR3Ha0]
For more information, read this VERY THOROUGH background on the Sea Lions Under Seige at the Bonneville Dam prepared by the Humane Society of the United States: http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/fisheries/timelines/bonneville_dam_sea_lions_under_siege.html
Save Misty the Dolphin is a social media campaign committed to ending the slaughter of vulnerable marine mammals worldwide. Visit us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Savemistythedolphin
Director, Office of Protected Resources
Phone 301 713-2332
Fax 301 427-2520
1315 East-West Highway,
Silver Spring MD 20910
I am petitioning for an immediate reversal on the March 15, 2012 authorization granted to the states of ID, OR and WA to kill up to 92 California sea lions on the Bonneville Dam.
The sea lions are to be executed for the act of consuming endangered salmon in the Columbia River. This is not a new issue. Since 2008, states along the Columbia River have killed 27 sea lions.
The sea lions presently slated for death are reported to account for about 1 percent to 4 percent of the salmon loss in the area of the Bonneville Dam. Conversely, in 2005 NMFS found that the annual take of up to 17% of salmon by fishermen had only “minimal adverse effects”. More recently, the May 2011 issue of the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Weekend Report stated, “Since late April, the number of chinook salmon passing Bonneville Dam has increased dramatically, opening the door to additional fishing opportunities,” said Cindy LeFleur, Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Why the double standard? Why are fishermen being encouraged to take endangered salmon from the Columbia River and sea lions being shot for the very same action? While the salmon fishery may be an important component of the the economy of the Pacific Northwest, it seems that protecting marine mammals shouldn’t have to take a backseat to the needs of the fishermen.
The decline of fish stocks is a complex problem resulting from numerous factors including among others, overfishing, habitat destruction, and water quality issues. Sea lions eat salmon, but so do birds. Scapegoating the sea lions fails to take the bigger picture into consideration. While the killing may appear to be a short term victory for the fishermen of the Columbia River, in the long haul this will have little effect on the status of the endangered salmon or the overall health of the river. Federal funds, time and energy would be much better spent on finding alternative, non-lethal solutions that we can all live with...especially the sea lions!