Following a Humane Society of the United States petition, federal officials have decided to revoke the authorization for Oregon and Washington to kill sea lions eating endangered salmon at the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.
The Humane Society said the decision means the two states cannot kill any of the federally protected sea lions unless NOAA fisheries approves a new request.
Federal allow permits official to kill sea lions only if the government proves that they have a significant negative impact on salmon
Since 2008, Oregon and Washington have killed dozens of sea lions that feed on salmon migrating upriver to spawn in the spring as they hit the bottleneck of fish ladders over Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River east of Portland, bendbulletin.com reported Wednesday.
"We're delighted the agency has changed its mind and revoked the State's authorization to kill hundreds of native sea lions for having the audacity to eat fish for dinner," Jonathan R. Lovvorn, senior vice president and chief counsel for animal protection litigation for The Humane Society said, in a statement. "It's time to face the fact that killing sea lions doesn't do anything for salmon, and focus instead on real salmon conservation threats, like hydropower and commercial fishing."
Steve Williams, assistant chief of fisheries for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, took a different view of the intervention to save the sea lions, and said they would apply for a new permit, and expected to get it.
"It's a disappointing, frustrating situation for us in the state, but it appears to be the best course of action at this point in time," he said, bendbulletin.com reported. "We believe that removal of the animals at the dam has been effective."
Environmental Analysis: In the years ahead, look for more petitions from animal rights and related environmental groups as they continue to lobby for way for humans to live in more harmony with animal life and the natural world. The new paradigm is not anti-development, but seeks a development that does not harm the animal or natural worlds.