Subject: Sea Lion Kill - August 31st Deadline for Public Response

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Mon, 22 Aug 1994 23:51:28

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Date: Mon, 22 Aug 1994 20:37:54 -0700 (MST)
From: Little Wolf <abresch@libre.com>
Subject: Sea Lion Kill - August 31st Deadline for Public Response
To: whalenet@vmsvax.simmons.edu
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AUGUST 31st DEADLINE FOR PUBLIC RESPONSE TO SEA LION KILL
 
 
Washington State is proposing to use a 19th century solution to a 20th
century problem.  The State is requesting a permit to kill sea lions at
the Ballard Locks in response to seriously declining populations of
steelhead trout which swim through that man-made waterway.
 
While the sea lions do feed upon trout at the locks, some studies report
that sea lion predation is NOT the principle cause of the steelhead
decline.  OTHER FACTORS, such as concrete structures around the locks and
environmental degradation, are the primary reasons for the disappearing
steelhead population.
 
Lethal removal of sea lions will not restore salmonoid populations
because:  (a) the sea lions are not the primary or original cause of the
steelhead decline and (b) new sea lions will replace those that have been
killed (as demonstrated in previous relocation efforts).  Many experts
consider this proposed "extermination" a political band-aid diverting
precious time, resources, and tax dollars away from addressing the real
problems threatening the restoration of steelhead populations.
 
Killing sea lions would represent a resurgence of antiquated and
ineffective wildlife management practices:  the elimination of natural
predators to compensate for poor and inadequate management of natural
resources.
 
 
PUBLIC OPINION ON THIS ISSUE MUST BE MAILED OR FAXED BY AUGUST 31st TO:
 
J. Gary Smith, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115
FAX: 206-526-6426
 
For more information, see the Federal Register notice dated 2 August,
#39325/I.D. 0715940).  Also, see Mark Fraker's report (May 1994) titled,
California Sea Lions and Steelhead Trout at the Chittenden Locks, Seattle,
Washington; available from the Marine Mammal Commission, Washington, DC.
 
Several environmental organizations, including Earth Island Institute
(contact: Mark Berman, E.I.I., International Marine Mammal Project, 300
Broadway, Suite 28, San Francisco, CA 94133-3312; FAX 415-788-7324), are
in opposition to this proposed lethal take.