Debate Magazine

Sea Lions Will Be Murdered Over Oregon Fishing Rights

Posted on the 22 May 2011 by Technocowgirl @TechnoCowgirl

California sea lions are common prey for mamma...

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Sea Lions will be murdered over Oregon and Washington Fishing Rights

   Normally I do not directly publish an “I” article
(college students’ have not learned that right); however, there will never come
a day that I do not speak out about the brutal murder of an animal. Yes, I said
brutal murder. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gave Oregon
and Washington the permission to resume killing California Sea Lions at Bonneville
Dam on the Columbia River, all over eating Salmon- their God given right. The
battle over the precious fish began years ago when anglers believed the reason
for low Salmon populations were due in part to the Sea Lions. The Humane Society
of the United States is continuing to fight for the rights of these animals
that cannot fight for themselves.

“The Humane Society challenged the permit saying NOAA did
not show why it was targeting sea lions for removal while allowing sport,
commercial and tribal fisheries to take up to 17 percent of the Spring Chinook
run” (Smith, 2011). Similarly, this is my thinking; they will murder these sea
lions for eating the salmon, yet, catch them, and eat them their selves. This
is the ultimate selfishness on humankind’s part in my view. As the superior
animal, there are plenty of other food options for us, whereas, the sea lions
have only fish.  The thought is, there
are a huge population of sea lions and fewer salmon, and so what is the harm. “The
California sea lion population is estimated at a healthy 238,000 while wild
Columbia and Chinook salmon are listed as endangered…[so the] NOAA and federal
agencies which operate Columbia and Snake river dams are under intense pressure
to protect and restore salmon and steelhead runs” (Smith, 2011).

Not only do Oregon and Washington have a permit to murder
these sea lions, it sounds as if they are excited to get started. “Everybody’s
been ready to go since mid-March,” says Robin Brown, ODFW’s marine mammal
program manager who has been trapping and branding sea lions at Bonneville all
spring…the traps are out there…the veterinarians are ready to go” (Smith,
2011). In addition, though she goes on to state that because of regulations and
negative publicity it is not “likely” any of the sea lions will actually be
killed. The truth of the matter is, “since 2008, 27 sea lions have been euthanized,
including the one killed on Thursday, and 10 others have been placed in zoos
and aquariums”…[furthermore] up to 85 California sea lions at Bonneville may be
killed annually” (Carson, 2011). In fact, last year 14 sea lions were murdered,
with none going to zoos or aquariums (Smith, 2011).  This killing and imprisonment of the sea lions
is unconscionable and unethical; humankind is again trying to control that
which is not controllable and costing lives in the process.

William Stelle, NOAA regional director, believes that
this “act allows his agency to balance “the management of and conflict between
the two species” (Smith, 2011). In contrast to an earlier permit, this new
permit allows for the murder of sea lions above Bonneville as well. The sea
lions are migrating in fewer numbers, and eating fewer fish, yet this gets them
no pardon; Stelle says, “Although the numbers are down, there are still sea
lions around and they’re still killing fish” (Smith, 2011). Does this man wish
for these sea lions to disappear off the face of the earth? What right does the
fish have that the sea lions do not? Humankind has no right to dictate which
animal lives and which will die because we would rather eat one than the other.
This is a ridiculous logic, and selfish at best.

~Stephanie A. Kinzel~

Carson, Teresa. (2011, May 20). Humane Society sues to halt sea lion killings. Reuters.

Smith, Quinton. (2001, May 13). Ok given to resume killing or removing salmon-munching sea lions.…


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