Posted by seahunt on September 30, 2002 at 21:41:47:
In Reply to: Sea Lions posted by Eagle Ray on September 30, 2002 at 11:19:24:
I'm not positive, but I suspect it was legal.
When sea lions are interfering while people are fishing, the captain can legally take pretty drastic action. I'm not sure what that means these days, but I suspect it means rubber bullets would be fine. Besides, most skippers will not break the law carelessly. There is too much at stake.
The reason for this is obvious to most fishermen. The events you mention not withstanding, very often, sea lions make fishing impossible and will follow the boats from site to site. They only take one bite from the fish, but it is a big one. They tend to leave the head and back. The rest of the fish is gone.
Sea Lions are cute and all that, but like most sea mammals, they have voracious appetites.
Up north further, where the salmon run up dammed rivers, sometimes studies indicate that virtually no fish get past the sea lions without taking some damage and you may be talking about only a handfull of sea lions. They often attack fish for fun.
... And nobody really knows what happens to the sea lions in the salmon rivers controlled by the native tribes, but I assure you, it's not PC.
I wouldn't worry too much about the sea lions at the moment. Their population is at an all time high. While the Great Whites are making something of a comeback, they are not adaquate as limiters of the population. Don't worry, when populations rise, disease will take its natural course, as it will eventually with humans. Naturally enough, marine mammals are particularly sensitive to respiratory ailments.
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