The Government Just Decided To Kill Hundreds Of Sea Lion FamiliesThe Government Just Decided To Kill Hundreds Of Sea Lion Families

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The U.S. government just did something terrible for ocean lions &mdash it managed to get legal to kill nearly 1,000 of these animals each year, just for attempting to feed themselves and their families.

The impetus with this new law is due to wild salmon. Recently, salmon populations around the West Coast from the U.S. &mdash specially the Chinook salmon who reside in the Columbia River Basin &mdash have plummeted. The issue&rsquos become so bad, Chinook salmon happen to be granted status as an endangered species underneath the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

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Officials and fishermen think that killing ocean lions, who naturally eat salmon, can help the fish survive. Yet animal welfare advocates say ocean lions are now being unfairly blamed &mdash which killing them isn&rsquot likely to solve anything.

&ldquoPredator control rarely works also it won&rsquot work here, since the legislation does not address the essential problems we’ve caused in salmon habitat,&rdquo Naomi Rose, marine mammal researcher in the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), stated inside a statement.

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Rather of pointing their fingers at ocean lions, Ryan Ososki, policy advisor for AWI, believes additional factors will be to blame, for example commercial fishing and the making of dams.

&ldquoIs it any question that Chinook salmon are endangered when dams within the Columbia River Basin have permanently blocked 55 percent of the historic spawning habitat?&rdquo Ososki stated inside a statement. &ldquoSea lions didn’t construct these dams, the president has signed into law an invoice blaming them for that declining salmon population. This really is bad legislation it totally ignores a persons-caused impacts to those endangered salmon.&rdquo

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Why is this problem much more contentious is the fact that ocean lions happen to be in the past protected within the U.S. underneath the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), which states it&rsquos illegal to harm, harass or kill these creatures. However the new legislation strips ocean lions of the protections, allowing large figures of these to become lethally removed.

Previously, condition officials have had the ability to obtain permits to get rid of individual ocean lions who have been seen to become eating endangered salmon, but officials could only remove as much as 92 ocean lions every year. This latest law boosts the quota tenfold &mdash from 92 to 920 &mdash&nbspand it enables officials to kill any ocean lion within the Columbia River Basin, whether or not they&rsquore eating salmon or otherwise.

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Also it&rsquos not only condition officials who’re permitted to kill ocean lions &mdash&nbsptribal officials and contractors are now able to kill them, too.

&ldquoIt&rsquos essentially open season on ocean lions now, whether or not they&rsquore preying on endangered fish or otherwise,&rdquo Rose told The Dodo.

The brand new legislation mandates that ocean lions ought to be trapped and humanely euthanized using drugs &mdash yet these killing methods might be considered costly and troublesome, Rose highlights.

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&ldquoWe worry greatly that enable holders will sometimes shoot ocean lions, which isn’t humane,&rdquo Rose stated.

&ldquoBefore, shooting a ocean lion would be a full-on breach from the MMPA and transported a substantial penalty &mdash however it might you need to be a breach of the permit (and they’d still need to be caught doing the work) and also the penalty could be less.&rdquo

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If people do start shooting ocean lions, it might cause lots of unnecessary discomfort for that creatures.

&ldquoA clean shot is tough when shooting at something within the water,&rdquo Rose stated. &ldquoSo a wounded ocean lion might suffer significantly before dying. &ldquo

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Animal welfare advocates also worry the new law will encourage illegal killings of ocean lions, that is already happening near Puget Seem in Washington. Within the last couple of several weeks, more than 13 dead sea lions have washed ashore with gunshot wounds along with other human-caused injuries.

To Rose, probably the most upsetting thing about this ordeal may be the amendments towards the MMPA, that has helped safeguard marine creatures like ocean lions during the last 40 years.

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&ldquoThis new provision … is basically a cull,&rdquo Rose stated. &ldquoNow the MMPA, a wildlife protection law, enables a cull of among the species it is supposed to safeguard. This can be a crack in the foundation and it’ll result in other cracks &mdash more demands for additional amendments allowing more culls of marine mammals user groups blame for a &mdash and potentially eventually a collapse from the statute altogether.&rdquo

Read more: thedodo.com

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