Seal safety alert: New net trouble

For a while, it looked as if the fishing nets vs. seal pups situation from last month might have been resolved. Maybe not. This alert just in from the same folks who sounded the alarm about that:

This morning there is a huge net strung 50 yds. offshore from Anchor Park (Luna Point) where Harbor Ave turns into Alki Ave. The tribal nets stretch from Anchor Park all the way south to about 64th and Alki. This is the largest net any of us have seen in many years and it is probably a series of nets stretching hundreds of yards along the same beaches these pups have chosen as they sanctuaries and haul-out spots. While the nets are not attached this time to the rocks onshore, they are unattended by any boats or fishermen who could monitor if any marine life were entangled and release the animal. We’ve already lost pups to these tribal nets and the incidents on Oct. 8 and October 20th show the consequences of these nets during pup season. Just yesterday neighbors reported three seal pups right in this vicinity.

Neighbors were so grateful when the Suquamish tribe removed its nets after the Oct. 20 seal pup was entangled and treated so terribly. Will they please consider again removing their nets or at least having a boat on site to monitor for marine life? We respect the Suquamish have their treaty rights, but they also have responsibilities. Many concerned citizens are shocked at the return of these nets, especially in such an environmentally sensitive area. We note the death of more than 200 seabirds on Indianola beaches this month that may be linked to native and non-native fishing. We have watched these tribal nets drown and entangle seal pups and seabirds here on Alki. Concerned citizens, please call the Suquamish tribe to voice concern at 360 598 3314. And Alki Beach residents, please keep your binoculars trained on those nets to watch out for any signs of entanglement of seals and seabirds.

WSB left messages for the Suquamish Tribe after the first reports they might be linked to the nets/pups situation, but did not receive a response; nonetheless, we will try again.

2 Replies to "Seal safety alert: New net trouble"

  • JumboJim November 5, 2007 (11:01 am)

    One huge problem is that 99% of the problem is underwater so that even watched nets may be drowning diving birds such as loons, grebes, etc. as well as seals. The net placement in such a stupid place (in front of a seal pup haulout area) is adding insult to injury.

    I don’t think anything substantial can be done without conversation with those who are fishing and so far it seems that they may not be willing to come forward.

  • cleat November 5, 2007 (11:21 am)

    pls advise what we shoud do if/when we see this…

    please keep your binoculars trained on those nets to watch out for any signs of entanglement of seals and seabirds

    Am sure time will be of the escense… who should be notified?

    thanks!! cleat

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