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Bill Would Allow Tribes To Kill Salmon-Eating Sea Lions

It could get easier to kill salmon-eating sea lions under a bill introduced Tuesday in Washington D.C. Some Northwest legislators and Indian tribes support the bill.  

Washington’s Doc Hastings has proposed the Endangered Salmon Predation Prevention Act before.

This time, the bill is meant to address an appeals court ruling against the sea lion removal policy.

That policy had only allowed states to kill sea lions. The Hastings bill would allow tribes to do it, too.

That’s not the only reason it has the support of the Columbia River Inter-tribal Fish Commission, according to spokeswoman Sara Thompson.

Sara Thompson: “The proposed legislation essentially streamlines the process for granting that lethal removal to occur.”

The “streamlining” as Thompson calls it would grant permits to tribes to immediately capture or kill sea lions, if they’re spotted eating salmon.

The Humane Society of the United States won the sea lion court case against the federal government. The Humane Society hadn’t seen the new Hastings’ bill.

But an official said the organization generally opposes what she calls “scapegoating” sea lions for man-made salmon problems.