The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in conjunction with the Bonneville Power Administration and several other federal and state agencies announced last week that they will resume "Sea Lion removal" along the Columbia River this week. To be clear, "Sea Lion removal" is not the transportation of Sea Lions to alternative habitats without dwindling sources of food or radioactive water, its just killing Sea Lions, either with a rifle if you're a good shot, or by lethal injection (if you're not). Why, you might ask, are we killing Sea Lions? The official story is because they have migrated upriver in search of food, depleting the increasingly fragile salmon population. But really, its not how much salmon they eat, it's that they won't pay $10 a pound for it. So you see, the Sea Lions have to go.
Don't get me wrong, the decreasing salmon population is distressing, both for the salmon and as an indication of the overall health of our waterways. After constructing 25 dams on the Columbia and an additional 250 more throughout the watershed, the wild salmon population has dropped from 10 million to 300,000. The last thing the salmon should have to deal with on their long and treacherous life journey is a natural predator. Besides, this policy clearly reflects an acknowledgment of the impacts of human consumption and energy generation on natural systems while restoring balance between species and promoting biodiversity.