Stop Needless Killing of Sea Lions


Target: Assistant Administrator for Fisheries Eileen Sobeck

Goal: End the sanctioned killing of sea lions

Six California sea lions were killed outside the Bonneville Dam in a misguided attempt to boost salmon numbers. Lethal predation of salmon is completely natural behavior, and has nowhere near the impact on salmon numbers as government-allowed fishing does. Nonetheless, sea lions that prey on salmon will be euthanized via lethal injection under a government permit. Demand that National Marine Fisheries Service end this needless killing.

Salmon numbers have been severely impacted by overfishing and human development, especially when dams block their spawning routes and impede their passage to spawning grounds. Introduced non-native species like walleye—typically maintained for sport fishing, a questionable environmental practice—prey on young salmon and can consume millions every year. Recreational and tribal fishing accounts for twelve percent of salmon, a quote deemed sustainable. In contrast, salmon predation by sea lions at Bonneville Dam averaged out to less than one percent over a period of three years, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

Yet sea lions are scapegoated under this new policy, and the permit allows officials to kill up to 92 sea lions a year. This is simply not the right approach to salmon conservation, nor is it justifiable. Sea lion predation accounts for a very small percentage of salmon loss: it is human activity that is responsible for the majority of overfishing. Nor will removing these sea lions actually reduce predation: new sea lions will simply come into the area.

The government cannot continue this course of action. Killing sea lions will not help salmon recovery: they are not the main culprit in losses, and attention should be given instead to reducing human impact, not killing animals for behaving normally. Sign the petition to ensure that the government protects both the salmon and sea lion population by regulating human interaction with the environment.


Dear Assistant Administrator Eileen Sobeck,

Six sea lions were killed at Bonneville Dam for preying on salmon under a license granted by the National Marine Fisheries Service. They are among the first sea lions targeted for doing what comes naturally to them in a misguided and unethical attempt to boost salmon numbers. This course of action is unjustified and completely ineffective. Not only will it result in the needless killing of marine life, but it also fails in addressing the real threats toward salmon.

Human activity is by far the worst culprit in declining salmon numbers, yet a government quota allows recreational and tribal fishing to take up to twelve percent of salmon. Salmon predation by sea lions accounts for less than one percent, and the salmon runs affected by sea lions have been found to be stable.

I demand that the National Marine Fisheries end this killing immediately, and turn instead to addressing the true reasons for decline. We are scapegoating a species that has little impact on salmon runs for no justifiable reason. Sea lions are not at fault, and killing them only makes way for more animals to enter the area. This plan will not protect salmon numbers on a significant level, and ignores the real and severe impact that human activity has.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Alexdi at English Wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Sheila Jefferson says:

    PLEASE END this killing of sea lions!

  2. KatWrangler says:

    Who exactly the predator here? This is just a quick way of eliminating the competition. We can eat other things – we just want what we want.

  3. Rita Grahn says:

    Which animal has over-fished the oceans? The sea lions – or the humans?????

  4. any excuse to kill something, it does not matter that it is not needed, the human race really has a lot to answer for, and it is getting worse all over the world, the down right horrific treatment of all animals. quite heart breaking.

  5. Cecily Colloby. says:

    So seals don’t have a right to eat salmon now??And who decided that,pray? The mindless bunch who kill and eat anything that moves and who have NO RIGHT to eat other sentient beings-what a surprise!!

  6. When are these damned people, going to stop blaming animals every time something starts coming up short on the numbers. It is high time, that people that pollute and are glutenous, and take more than their share and kill kill kill until a species is at risk of becoming extinct,take credit for their own greedy bad behavior.They then will turn right around and blame some other poor animal for what they themselves have done. Well by God,I know just because these people don’t want any animal having anything to eat, because that would mean they wouldn’t get it, is pretty bad. Well you dumb asses, these other animals have a right to eat to and you need to stop being so glutinous and greedy. Blaming the Sea Lions for a fish shortage has got to be one of the stupidest concoction of made up crap, that I have ever heard in my entire life.There are a lot of reasons that there are shortages and over fishing tops the list. It is almost running neck to neck with the wolves being blamed for the Elk heards being small (which they weren’t, the jerks just wanted to kill the wolves). I tell you there are a lot of sic selfish self serving asses on this planet and they need a serious wake up call.And they need to not be allowed to kill any species just because (in this case)they eat a fish. Well by God I can understand (NOT) that is one less fish they will be able to sell,well heaven forbid. What a bunch of smucks.I Demand that National Marine Fisheries Service end this needless killing.All the problems are man made in all his glorious wisdom.

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