Congress Voting To Let More Sea Lions Be Killed To Protect Salmon – KNKX

The drumbeat to kill ‘nuisance’ sea lions to protect the dwindling runs of salmon in the NW continues, with Senator Maria Cantwell joining the bandwagon by putting forward legislation in the Senate to lower the paperwork restrictions to allow culling of any sea lion deemed to be a problem.

Whether killing hundreds (the likely number is unknown) of sea lions around the Bonneville dam and other locations will allow a significant number of salmon to make it back up river to spawn is anyones guess.

The whole situation seems to be pointing to made to order for the current Republican administration. Rather than providing greater opportunities for salmon to spawn, by removing dams that block their return (thereby creating the very situation that causes the sea lions to show up to eat) or allowing more water to be carried over the dams (not favored by farmers and freight haulers), or restricting more development along rivers (not favored by developers), the legislature goes after simply killing off animals in the hope that more won’t just show up to fill the gap. Not sure that nature works that way. It abhors a vacuum, and hungry sea lions showed up because food was abundant, not scarce. While salmon runs all along the west coast are struggling, it’s clear that the sea lions are going to go where the food is plentiful. And of course, as global warming engulfs us, due to our insatiable appetite for fossil fuel, which the administration refuses to even acknowledge, the river flows are going to get less, not more. It’s just more pretzel logic.

As reported on this blog just a day or so ago, Canadian scientists nixed this idea, saying that there was not a noticeable increase in sea lions due to salmon being present.

In a clash of protected species, Pacific Northwest members of Congress are coming down in favor of salmon. The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday morning to make it easier to kill sea lions who feast on Columbia and Willamette River salmon and steelhead.

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2 Responses

  1. I’d take the sea lion kill if it was linked to culvert reconstruction etc.


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