Petition Closed

Letter to
Director, CA Department of Fish and Game John McCamman
Protected Resources Division, NOAA Joseph Cordaro
Sacramento Branch Chief, NOAA Jeff McLain
I am deeply concerned about the rise in Californian sea lion shootings. The animal victims that survive are often unable to return to the wild, left severely wounded and blind by a human's aggression. According to NOAA, over 40 sea lions were shot in 2009, an increase of 9 from the previous year. As fishermen move further into sea lion territory, these illegal attacks will continue to increase.

I am thus urging you to use every available resource to investigate all sea lion shootings, as well as prosecute all offenders and enact harsher penalties for those who commit such heinous crimes. One recent offender only faced 30 days in jail for shooting a sea lion in the face--such a measly sentence does not deter future offenders, nor does it provide a just punishment for the crime.

NOAA and the Department of Fish and Game must also do more to educate the public on sea lions. Fisherman must be instructed on protected mammals and the consequences of harming such animals should be widely disseminated. As you know, prosecution of shooters is difficult without witnesses; therefore, your agencies must work closely with fishermen in order to encourage the reporting of these crimes.

It is up to NOAA and the Department of Fish and Game to protect sea lions. Enacting stricter penalties for offenders and working with the public to ensure these crimes are reported will help reduce the occurrences of this violent crime.

Thank you.