Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 12, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Sea Lions

Unjustly scapegoated when humans are the real problem

In Baja California you can swim with these curious, playful mammals. In Oregon and Washington, they are killed. I am appalled at the plan to shoot 85 California sea lions at Bonneville Dam each year for the next five years.

The Environmental Assessment is the sea lions eat from .4 to 4 percent of spring salmon, which the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) considers to be a “significant impact” on salmon recovery, while fishermen are allowed 13 percent and are considered an “insignificant impact.”

Dams alone kill 10 percent of adult fish. It is obvious sea lions are being unjustly scapegoated by government agencies; the real threats to salmon populations are caused by humans overfishing, building dams and destroying their habitat.

Killing sea lions does not address these core problems; our money is better spent on conservation strategies.

Columbia River cruising has been a $50 million per year business, bringing people from all over the world to see the wildlife and natural beauty of the Gorge. I can imagine a cruise ship plowing its way up the river through a maze of fishing boats and the cruise director saying, as they pass through the Bonneville lock, “and over here you can see

the sharp shooters killing the ‘federally protected’ sea lions.”

— Melba Gohl, White Salmon

Comments | More in Energy, Environment

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►