Why kill sea lions instead of lowering allowed fishing quotas? This question and others were left unanswered at a press conference today.
Activists with In Defense of Animals and the Sea Lion Defense Brigade were awarded hard hats and badges before attending a press conference by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at the Bonneville Dam.
According to plan, the wildlife departments plan to kill up to 425 sea lions beginning next week.
The departments called the press conference to display their redesigned sea lion traps, complete with a remote-controled door. Last year the sea lion trapping plan faced criticism when six sea lions died in traps, presumably from starvation, although it has not been explained.
Officials wanted to show that the traps were great and would prevent any kind of suffering, but in reality, the trapped sea lions will eventually be killed. And they will still be shooting some of the sea lions.
Things didn’t go as planned. The trap’s remote operation failed to work. Twice. Matt Rossell, an activist with In Defense of Animals, spoke up.
“Given what just happened, how is the public to have any trust or confidence in your agencies?” Rossell said, according to a paraphrased quotation in a report on Portland IndyMedia. “Given this, and what happened last year, how are we to place our trust in your ability to pull this off in a humane and competent manner?”
Good question. But even if it is done in a humane manner, why is killing sea lions even necessary? Why can’t we simply lower fishing quotas? These are the questions wildlife officials really should answer.
Source: Portland IndyMedia