Fishing nets killing baby seals?

A new concern about baby seals in West Seattle waters: Local residents who asked to be anonymous e-mailed us (and other news organizations) with a claim that a net fishing crew strung its nets “right across one of the most popular haul-out beaches for these pups at Anchor Park … (Other) fishermen … reported they have never seen a net attached to these rocks before this year. Several fishermen witnessed the net had drowned three seal pups. … This is a clear violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. We also have photo documentation of this same fisherman pulling a fourth seal pup out of his net. We cannot tell for sure if this particular pup is dead or alive.” Here’s that photo (we have cropped out what looks to be a partial identifying number on the boat, as we are still doing research to find out more about this claim):


The e-mail goes on to say the nets were removed for a while last week, then returned this past Thursday. The residents believe these nets belong to a tribe, but haven’t been able to figure out which one — because of what they say is a conflict over tribal fishing rights in the area. Whoever it belongs to, they say, they are “respectfully asking … to move this net for the next several weeks away from this very popular haul out beach for the pups.” We have e-mail out to the tribe that these residents think owns the net, to see what they can tell us about the situation, and will also be checking with the local federal authorities who have jurisdiction over marine mammals such as the seal pups. 5:10 PM ADDENDUM: 47 minutes after we published this report, this tv site posted a story about the situation suggesting something had happened today (“9 am Saturday”), although for the record, the photo published with their online story is one of two photos that we received from the concerned residents YESTERDAY (Friday afternoon).

26 Replies to "Fishing nets killing baby seals?"

  • Don - Class of ' 61 October 20, 2007 (4:23 pm)

    Probably, it is the Muckleshoot tribe, the tribe that Judge Bondt gave the right to their “TRADIONAL TREATY RIGHTS”, and allowed them to do what we guarnteed that they could do. Circa 1975.

    He did have, the audaucity to say that, that is what we promised, and Damn it, that is what we owe them. If a few innocent things get taken – So be it.

    No, I am not Native American, but I do believe we should honor what we promised to do. Otherwise, we are no better than GWB. Forbid.

    Notice – there was no religius reference – I would hate to think that we can get the GOD AND CHRISTIAN/LION debate going , again.

    Personally, I root for the Lions.

  • MargL October 20, 2007 (5:00 pm)

    What is being done with the bodies? Could that be the cause of death for the poor pup found on the rocks last week?

  • Jan October 20, 2007 (5:10 pm)

    so this raises the question…do tribes have to honor the Marine Mammal Protection Act, or are they totally above the law?

  • mrwillow October 20, 2007 (5:53 pm)

    HOW, about we honor the damn treatys we have sighned? Morons.

  • Jan October 20, 2007 (7:24 pm)

    Mr. Willow…exactly who are you calling morons? them or us? inquiring minds want to know….

  • mrwillow October 20, 2007 (8:03 pm)

    Jan – to make it absolutely clear – the morons are them, — for ever having trusted the white man. By the way I am definitely WASP (remember them words?), and sometimes I am not real proud of that fact.

  • todd October 20, 2007 (9:48 pm)

    Mrwillow, should we divide ourselves up by groups and assign special rights to each group? Or, should we all be members of one group with the same rights and liberties? “Equal rights for all, special privileges for none” Thomas Jefferson.

    Subsistence fishing this is not. This is commercial fishing pure and simple. And to answer Jan, yes the tribes do have to honor the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

    Also, get over the “white man” thing. You are moronically lumping all people of the same skin color together for the simple purpose of self flagellation. We should not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character.

  • Jan October 20, 2007 (10:31 pm)

    Todd..thanks for your answer, and your last statement. I asked whether they were above the law in this because it made me think…would that mean they’re above the law in everything? I suppose I wouldn’t have cared much about this situation if the man had gently freed the seal and let him go. Trusting the white man has absolutely nothing to do with this situation…being a compassionate human being, of whatever color you are – counts for something, and the tribes have no excuse for anything less. They supposedly honor the earth…that includes baby seals.

  • Jiggers October 20, 2007 (11:05 pm)

    I just saw it on Komo TV. It was the first news story og the night tonight.

  • Praying Man-tis-i October 21, 2007 (8:12 am)

    Todd, I agree with some of what you said, but it’s really easy for people to say that after the fact. Quotes are fine, but I’m sure we could quote forever and therein is the issue; we need to inspire people with them to influence change.

  • Praying Man-tis-i October 21, 2007 (8:16 am)

    Don – Class of 81. Since you did such a great job of keeping God / Christians out of this conversation, I’d like to know what you have agaisnt them. How have they harmed you that you root against them? Is it religion, Christians, God, some or all that you take issue with? I’m not looking to debate you, just understand better.

  • Rubs October 21, 2007 (10:37 am)

    My main beef with Christians is the fact that they seem to think it’s their right to bring their filthy kids into restaurants when I’m trying to get likkerd up

  • Jan October 21, 2007 (1:40 pm)

    hehe. Rubs…pickin’ a fight? ;-)

  • The House October 21, 2007 (2:14 pm)

    We need to “seal” a deal with these tribes.

    Giving Native Americans special privelages are equal to reframations and should be reversed by now.

    I really don’t agree with what the British and “New Americans” did to Native Americans, but giving their people special rights in 2007 doesn’t fix any of that and in reality holds their people back. Have you visited some of the reservations across the country? In many cases, they were given the worst land across the country, some of which can not be used to grow food, they are genrally poverty stricken and the ones that thrive do so because of gambling which really only makes a select few people in the tribe wealthy.

    Definitely a sad story, but one that has been played out across the world thousands of times in history.

  • Kayleigh October 21, 2007 (2:52 pm)

    What treaty says they can kill baby animals needlessly (not for religious,cultural, or sustenance purposes) while breaking laws enacted IN THIS CENTURY, in what I assume are American, not tribal waters?

    They should be arrested.

  • Don - Class of ' 61 October 21, 2007 (3:48 pm)

    Jan – initially, my response was going to be “Yes, they are because of the Boldt decision”.

    After some good amount of research, my answer is ‘Well, probably.”

    It has become VERY obvious, from comments and responses, that VERY few of you people were here at the time, or even born, when it was issued.

    I could not even begin to summarize, or explain it.

    HOWEVER, the Seattle Times, 2/7/99, Alex Trizon, “25 years after the Boldt Decison”, might give you enough background to understand why this is such a volatile issue around here – even now.

    TODD – Why don’t you educate yourself, before you make yourself look like a fool.

    Yes, there are 2 different classes of people in Washington state.

    Go GOOGLE “Boldt Decision”, and read ALL 300+ pages.

    THEN, come back and argue. Yeah, I know you’re too busy.

  • Jan October 21, 2007 (6:10 pm)

    Don…you’d be surprised at how many of us were around when George Boldt made his decision. It was controversial then , it’s controversial now. I doubt that anywhere in there does it say that the tribes are given back their rights to be “cruel” and “inhumane”. Whether this fisherman has the right to be where he is or not is not the point here…the cruel thing he did to a protected species is not his right, and I could care less who he is, or what thinks he’s entitled to.

  • mrwillow October 21, 2007 (6:15 pm)

    Jan – Have you read the article I referred you to? Well, contact me when you have. Yeah, you’re too busy, also.

  • Don - Class of ' 61 October 21, 2007 (8:26 pm)

    WSB – before this gets to the level of “Tent City”,

    I am as guilty as the rest – Do you have any admissions that any of the people involved were native americans? Or, involved in their fisheries?

    Or, someone who is just renegade? WE HAVE ALL assumed – they are them. I certainly apologize for my prejudice.

    Bye, good luck, and I wish you well on your journeys.

  • todd October 21, 2007 (10:00 pm)

    Don – ok, I have read the Boldt decision. There was no reference to resource harvest in exclusion of fisheries. Marine mammals are omitted. This is evident in the latest round of whaling harvest off Nehia bay and clear violation of the law. So, the point that you were trying to make is? Killing seals in Elliot bay is a violation of the Marine Mammal protection act and should be treated as such.

    If you reference me looking like a fool with regard to sustenance fishery and commercial harvest, the treaty specifically recognizes and defines the “right” to harvest as substance. Would you like to debate what “is” is?

    Get off your inflated ego and get to the point. What specifically do you have a problem with? You and mrwillow seem to be calling Jan’s and my bluff. Well call away. We hold the hand.

  • Jan October 21, 2007 (10:58 pm)

    Mr. Willow…you really do need to lighten up. Now…nowhere in the above comments have you asked me to read anything. Unless, of course, you’re posting as two different people on here. For the record…I’m 60, I’ve lived in Seattle since 1974, I’m familiar with the Boldt decision, and I know what a WASP is(nothing really to brag about), coming from the great Northeast – there were lots of them back there.

    I will reiterate…what this fisherman did had nothing to do with treaties. He can have all the fish that he wants…but bashing this baby seal was simply wrong, and I don’t think you have a reasonable excuse for that, whatever name you’re posting under.

  • Praying Man-tis-i October 22, 2007 (4:21 pm)

    Rubs, no one was talking to you, but I guess you had to get that off your chest. Don’t know whether to take you seriously or not with that response, however.

  • Rubs October 22, 2007 (7:42 pm)

    Oh Dear.

  • Jan October 22, 2007 (7:51 pm)

    Praying MTI…I do believe Rubs was tongue in cheek…at least that’s how it seemed to me :)

  • Praying Man-tis-i October 23, 2007 (1:00 pm)

    My bad then. Shame on me. :-)

  • Matthew G. Miller October 24, 2007 (4:33 pm)

    I am following the story for the West Seattle Herald. Please e-mail with additional information you may have.

    Contact me at matthew (dot) g (dot) miller (at) juno (dot) com.

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