In 2011 the Oregon Legislature authorised a program by which they make use of "non-lethal" hazing methods in order to scare sea lions away from fish ladders at Willamette Falls near Oregon City.
Included in these "non-lethal" methods is the firing of shotguns over the sea lions with specifically designed shells that will explode underwater, thus causing potential damage to the hearing of the animals as well as disturbing the natural tranquility of the environment.
The program also has federal authorization for the lethal removal of sea lions from the Columbia River. Their crime? Eating salmon and steelhead.
Research has shown sea lions consume 2.4% of these fish while commercial fishing operations take in excess of 17%
Furthermore, the hazing techniques as employed at Bonneville Dam (also on the Columbia River) have shown no proven results. If anything, the killing of these animals is in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, a piece of legislation under which sea lions are supposedly protected.
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."
Unless we take a stand, this lethal take program will continue unabated until 2016. We therefore urge you to not only sign the petition but also to contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife by sending an e-mail to [email protected]
You can also contact the ODFW Commission (who are responsible for the policies of the ODFW) [email protected]
We thank you for your support.
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