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
I don’t think anyone really thinks that people turning vegan right now will save these sea lions. Rather, they’re pointing out that if people were already veg, there’d be no demand for the salmon, and no reason to kill the sea lions.
Presently, becoming a vegan isn’t going to help the salmon – or the sea lions.
I am all for saving the salmon, they are a finite resource that has exponentially declined and will likely not survive through the century. But honestly, there is no way salmon can be saved unless humans collectively take part in reducing our impacts on the environment. Sure, everyone thinks that by recycling a few pop cans or turning a light out they are doing something good for the world, but 100 years ago salmon populations were already in a steady decline and we didn’t even have pop cans or proper electricity. It’s not just about the obvious carbon impacts or changing our diets, it’s about hundreds of little things that we’ve become accustomed to, and all of us partake in them! In order to improve our natural resources such as salmon and sea lion populations, we need to change all aspects of our lives and **properly** educate those around us. (I put an emphasis on properly because too many people go out in the world and make extreme statements like: “Killing sea lions would stop salmon decline” and “Going vegan will save the world” or “Fish ladders are the solution”. All these could definitely have a positive impact on the situation, but so minutely that we wouldn’t even know. It’s all about collectively solving the issue.)
I will add to what Mick Finn said above:
Human population is overburdening the planet. Humans are no where near any level of extinction. So, given Mick Finn’s logic, there should be a slaughter of humans too. Say around 3 billion or so. You think that will do the trick there, Finn, given the overburdening of the planet? Idiot! Go vegan and leave wild life alone.
It’s always great to see people ‘get involved’ but at the same time I’m often dismayed that they’ve not bothered to learn all the facts. Or worse, they assume, as here apparently, that everyone will gleefully adopt their vegan lifestyle. I eat salmon and will continue to eat salmon; I will also continue to work to see the hydropower system changed on the Columbia (including dam removal) to address the real problem affecting salmon: habitat loss and degradation. Other facts in this case: this is a sea lion population that has expanded dramatically – a success story under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The population of sea lions foraging at Bonneville are not truly endangered now; they are a healthy population missing a natural predator – or, more accurately in this case, man as the natural predator is being told by these misguided souls that “he needs to keep himself separate from his environment”. The number of sea lions they’re talking about taking here, and the rules under which they’re going to take them, are not going to endanger this population. If you want balance in the environment, then you must allow man to truly play his part, which includes being the predator at times.
“why is killing sea lions even necessary? Why can’t we simply lower fishing quotas? These are the questions wildlife officials really should answer.” exactly, you hit the nail right on the head! it’s obvious we are a sick society, as that is evident by how we treat animals.