They're pretty much sea lions with feathers. :sad: A judge has refused to block a plan to shoot more than 10,000 double-crested cormorants in the Columbia River estuary.
The plan was released earlier this year by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It wants to stop cormorants from eating millions of baby salmon.
Conservation groups sought a preliminary injunction. They say hydroelectric dams - not cormorants - are the main threat to salmon. The groups filed suit in April against the Corps, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Wildlife Services agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Corps said Wildlife Services will manage the killing.The plan also calls for destroying 26,000 nests on East Sand Island.
What do you think of those apples, PETA? And I wonder what a sea lion burger tastes like?
Ok, granted. When it comes to fish migration, dams are a problem. Even with the most efficient fish ladders the fish still pile up and become easy pickings for predators and the miles of slack water behind dams prevent smolts from getting down stream faster and further decreases their chances of survival. However, our country needs electricity and until we find better ways to produce it, hydro is here to stay. When it comes right down to it, if we had to choose between fish or having the lights on, the fish would loose. But God knows we don't want that so we need to manage fish protection in other ways. If we create an unnatural barrier that changes the way nature works, it upsets the balance so I believe it's up to us to compensate for it by managing the consequences of our actions. That is, by controlling the over abundance of fish eating things that would not be there in such numbers if we hadn't built concrete walls along fish routes.
Although we have little control or understanding of what happens to salmon in the ocean, we do know that thousands of birds and sea lions take a substantial chunk out of the fish population. This is something we can observe and do something about and sometimes it's an easy decision to make. I am thoroughly in favor of managing bird and sea lion populations even if it only saves (according to PETA) 5% of the fish. Five percent out of a million is still a big number and it will allow us to keep the lights on for a little while longer.
The fact of the matter, the sea lions are introduced species, albeit they are "self introduced". I'm not sure about the birds, the can flock anywhere the food is. Sea lions are a salt water mammal, and spending the extended time in the fresh water is not natural and we'll damage their internals over time. However, because of the over abundance of seals and sea lions at the river opening, they are migrating to where they don't have to compete no matter what it does to their body. Now I see myself as a conservationist. Most responsible fishermen (and hunters) are. They have to be too ensure good fishing and hunting every year. I don't want to see the sea lions and birds killed, but we have to put things back into balance. I feel they should give tags and allow those that want to hunt the animals hunt them, as long as the animal is put to use and not just left to die and rot.