GRANTS PASS, Ore. — An appeals court has upheld killing sea lions that eat too many salmon at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had told NOAA Fisheries Service it needed to do a better job of explaining why it was authorizing the killing of dozens of sea lions, which are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. And on Friday the court affirmed that the latest explanation filled the bill.
The court said the service examined the relevant data, and explained the rationale behind killing up to 92 sea lions a year to reduce the loss of threatened and endangered salmon.
The Humane Society of the United States had challenged the killing, arguing that fishing and the dams kill far more salmon than sea lions.