Target: Helen Golde, Director of the Office of Protected Resources at NOAA Fisheries
Goal: End the brutal slaughter of sea lions as a punishment for eating endangered salmon
Hundreds of sea lions are being brutally slaughtered by Oregon and Washington state officials for eating endangered salmon. Though sea lions are a federally protected species, the states have been legally authorized to execute almost 500 sea lions. Demand that NOAA Fisheries end these unjust executions by revoking the states’ authorization.
On March 15, 2012, Oregon and Washington officials were authorized to kill 92 California sea lions every year for five years, a total of 460 sea lions, for simply eating the food that was available to them in the Columbia River. Since then, hundreds of sea lions have been branded with hot irons, hazed with rubber bullets and explosives, and killed by lethal injection or a shotgun, according to the Sea Shepherd’s Sea Lion Defense Campaign. This brutal slaughtering will continue to take place until June 2016.
The state governments are using taxpayers’ money to fund these horrific activities, using sea lions as a scapegoat for the decreasing number of endangered salmon near the river’s Bonneville Dam. However, sea lions consume less than four percent of the salmon there, while human fishing activity kills about 16 percent of the same salmon. Birds also eat up to 18 percent of the salmon, and the dam itself kills approximately 17 percent of adult salmon and 60 percent of juvenile salmon.
The Marine Mammal Protection Act federally protects California sea lions, but an amendment to the act allowed for the lethal removal of sea lions in order to protect endangered salmon. Brutally slaughtering sea lions that eat fish for survival while commercial, recreational and tribal fisheries are allowed to kill hundreds of thousands of the same fish is an indescribable injustice and must be stopped. Demand the NOAA Fisheries revoke Oregon and Washington state officials’ authorization to execute California sea lions.
Dear Ms. Golde,
I am shocked and appalled that the NOAA Fisheries authorized the states of Oregon and Washington to brutally slaughter hundreds of sea lions for eating endangered salmon in the Columbia River. Sea lions are a federally protected species, yet you granted authorization for the states to legally execute almost 500 California sea lions. I demand that you end these cruel and unjust executions by revoking the states’ authorization.
It is intolerable that hundreds of sea lions have been branded with hot irons, hazed with rubber bullets and explosives and killed by lethal injection or shot—all legally and using taxpayers’ money—because they simply ate the food that was available to them as a means of survival.
In fact, sea lions are only responsible for consuming less than four percent of the endangered salmon at the Bonneville Dam, while human fishing activity kills about 16 percent, the dam itself kills about 17 percent of adult salmon and 60 percent of juvenile salmon, and birds eat up to 18 percent of the salmon.
The brutal slaughter of sea lions that are unknowingly eating a small amount for survival while commercial, recreational and tribal fisheries are allowed to knowingly kill hundreds of thousands of the same fish is an intolerable injustice and needs to end before one more innocent life is taken. I demand the NOAA Fisheries immediately revoke Oregon and Washington state officials’ authorization to execute California sea lions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Airwolfhound via Flickr