Subject: Sea Lions:Zalophus Foraging and Predation on Salmonids (fwd)

Michael Williamson (
Thu, 3 Apr 1997 13:40:18 -0500 (EST)

J. Michael Williamson
   Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
   Associate Professor-Science
   Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256
fax:    617.734.8666, or 617.566.7369

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 23:06:47 -0700
From: Pieter Folkens <>
Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Subject: Zalophus Foraging and Predation on Salmonids

It is unfortunate, but perhaps not surprising that the proposed solution to
the problem of sea lions being sea lions is to shoot them.

Back in the 1960s, after fur hunters wiped out all but the last 0.1% of sea
otters in the southern range, abalone fishermen opposed efforts to allow
sea otters to expand back into their former range. They claimed sea otters
ate too many abalone and ruined the fishery. They neglected to mention that
the number of abalone fishermen and the take of abalone had risen a couple
of orders of magnitude when otter numbers were at their lowest.

Two hundred years ago, the pinniped population on the west coast of the
lower 48 was significantly larger than it is now. So was the salmon. As the
sea lion popluation subsided the population of fishermen and the gross
tonnage of salmon taken soared.

Meanwhile beaver-like bipedal hominids dammed every river (and salmon
spawning habitat).

The salmon population crashes. Major salmon runs are declared endangered.
Hungry sea lions prey on the few remaining salmon and the solution is to
shoot the sea dogs.

Hey! Why not shoot a few dams and open up the salmon spawning areas again?
That way there'll be plenty of salmon to go around.

Or is that too logical?

Pieter Folkens

     Y                         _
    ,~------------------------/ \___^___^._
    |            ~ ~.~ ~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.'~`^--^_,''/
    |          @  _ ~,~.~'~.~,~'~.~,~.~ ~ ~ ~ ~.~  {
    \_________   \_l ~,~,~,~,~,~'.~.____'-----'__`  \
 ~ ~  `----------------------\__'--'              `  \
~ ~                                                 `