Congress OKs bill to allow killing sea lions
to help salmon
(AP) — Congress has agreed to make it easier to kill sea
lions threatening fragile runs of salmon in the Northwest.
Public Broadcasting reports that
a bill approved by the House Tuesday changes the Marine
Mammal Protection Act to lift some of the restrictions on
killing sea lions to protect salmon and steelhead in the
Columbia River and its tributaries. The measure had
previously passed the Senate.
managers say sea lion populations have grown so large that
they no longer need all the protections that were put in
place for them in 1972.
would usher in a more streamlined process for Washington,
Idaho, Oregon and several Pacific Northwest tribes to
capture and euthanize sea lions. Sea lions deemed to be a
problem are captured and euthanized.
including the governors of Oregon, Washington and Idaho,
fishing groups and tribes, have said the bill will give
wildlife managers greater flexibility in controlling
California sea lions that dramatically increased from about
30,000 in the 1960s to about 300,000 following enactment of
the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act.
executive director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish
Commission, said in a statement that he was "grateful
Congress worked in a bipartisan manner to give us the local
flexibility to protect the tribal treaty resources we share
with others in the Columbia and Willamette rivers."
the move by Congress ill-conceived and say it will not solve
the problem of declining salmon, which also face other
problems such as habitat loss and dams.
While there are
several thousand California sea lions in the Columbia River
estuary, only about 200 to 300 swim more than 100 miles (160
kilometers) upriver from the Pacific Ocean and would be
eligible for removal, state wildlife officials say.
An orca task
force convened by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat,
also backed the legislation to boost the fish for the
struggling population of southern resident killer whales.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.
section 107, any copyrighted material
herein is distributed without profit or
payment to those who have expressed a
prior interest in receiving this
information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only. For more
information go to: