FOLLOWUP: NOAA offers $20,000 reward in hopes of solving sea-lion shootings

The poster was sent by Robin Lindsey of Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network, who explains:

NOAA’s Office for Law Enforcement (OLE) is offering a $20,000 reward for information about the recent sea lion shootings, a confirmed total of 12 shot dead (9 in West Seattle alone). It is our hope that this will prompt someone to come forward and provide valuable leads. Seal Sitters’ hotline (206-905-7325) received numerous calls reporting shots heard along the Elliott Bay waterfront during the time period the animals were shot (September to early December). There is undoubtedly someone in the public who knows something about the shootings. It is time to get some justice for these remarkable, gregarious animals.

We reported on the shootings multiple times in the fall; the backstory is summarized in this post on Seal Sitters’ website, which also includes a higher-resolution version of the poster shown above, for anyone interested in printing and displaying it.

KNOW SOMETHING? As the poster says, call 206-526-4300, or go here.

12 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: NOAA offers $20,000 reward in hopes of solving sea-lion shootings"

  • anonyme February 7, 2019 (12:31 pm)

    What is the point of this when Trump and Congress, with the support of Jay Inslee, voted in December to weaken the MMPA and expand the slaughter of sea lions – supposedly (and this a joke) as a way to protect orcas from over-fishing by sea lions?  This was clearly a giveaway to the fishing industry, as the greatest threat to salmon is over-fishing by greedy and gluttonous humans.   Given that very little media exposure was given to these changes, the wholesale murder of these creatures is only going to increase, especially if tribal hunters are allowed exemptions.

    • Jethro Marx February 7, 2019 (8:05 pm)

      Can you support what you’re saying with any kind of data or informed opinion? Because the indications from fishery scientists are that sea lions alone account for at least ten times as much salmon harvesting as commercial and sport fishing combined. Of course, that’s relevant to policy, not poaching, but be careful not to become the voter who cried Trump, as we will soon grow tired of hearing that anyone who disagrees with you loves the President. Sure, he’s a bit (more than a bit, maybe) of a doofus, and seems to be pretty racist, and has a bad habit of legislating via twitter, and is playing a solidly xenophobic hand currently, and geez I could go on and on, but President Trump is not responsible for the demise of our salmon runs, and is not very involved in efforts to address them, either. We started working on killing the salmon off shortly after we “discovered” the watersheds they depend on.

    • Rick February 7, 2019 (8:34 pm)

      Only took you 8 Words to get to President Trump. Sick of it. Pull your head out and try to focus on the country since you’re so….. well.

  • Howard February 7, 2019 (2:05 pm)

    Any word on the bullet caliber used or if all the wounds were consistent with the same caliber?  

    • Robin L February 7, 2019 (6:31 pm)

      Since this is an open Federal investigation, no details about evidence can be made public at this time. Projectiles found upon necropsy of the sea lions were turned over to authorities.

  • LJ February 7, 2019 (2:27 pm)

    Didn’t Maria Cantwell  co-sponsored  a bill recently to make it easier to kill sea lions ?  If you want to save the orcas and salmon you need to reduce the sea lion population or  the courts need  to reverse the Boldt decision.

    • WSB February 7, 2019 (2:47 pm)

      In the Columbia River. Not Puget Sound. And experts don’t all agree that reducing sea lions would help orcas. That aside, what happened here was illegal, and a reward is available for helping solve the crime. – TR

    • Mike February 7, 2019 (7:22 pm)

      Poaching is illegal, period.

  • anonyme February 7, 2019 (5:38 pm)

    The idea that sea lions, rather than greedy and gluttonous human beings, are responsible for declining salmon populations – and, by extension, threatened orca populations is absurd.  The loosening of laws protecting sea lions is nothing more or less than a giveaway to the fishing industry and to sports fishermen.  Both orca and sea lions are specialist species.  Humans are not.  These killers need to be found and punished. 

  • TJ February 7, 2019 (8:49 pm)

    While this is a terrible act by whoever is responsible, nobody should be surprised at all by these killings. There is widespread disdain of sea lions in the recreational and commercial fishing circles, and this happens out of sight a lot in remote areas. This could be 1 person responsible for this here. 

  • anonyme February 8, 2019 (7:15 am)

    Jethro, you seem confused.   Nowhere did I say that Trump caused salmon runs to decline.  What a strange interpretation; you seem far more interested in wanting to make the discussion about Trump than I.  Personally, I would rather step around that stinking pile if at all possible.   However, if you doubt that he signed the bill in question (which was also signed by Maria Cantwell and supported, as mentioned, by Jay Inslee), you need only do a simple search.  Members of congress from our region (Cantwell included) who voted for this legislation were representing CCA, a sports fishing organization, and fisheries in Washington and Oregon. Your claim that “sea lions alone account for at least ten times as much salmon harvesting as commercial and sport fishing combined” is a partial, speculative quote from a 2017 study that included state, federal and tribal representatives.  Not an objective nor purely scientific study, and related only to Chinook populations – not salmon in general. This is problematic for Southern Resident orcas, who are a specialist species relying solely on Chinook for survival.  The same study also acknowledged the impact of many other species of marine mammals on Chinook, as well as the fact that many Chinook salmon are harvested by these ‘other’ species in the ocean outside of sea lion feeding areas.   In short, there is no justification for sea lion slaughter.   It’s just that legislators and ‘sportsmen’ would rather scapegoat sea lions than address more serious, man-made environmental issues impacting our region – and the world.

    • Jethro Marx February 8, 2019 (9:38 am)

      Well I do get confused from time to time. I cannot, for instance find any data or informed opinion here to support your claim that overfishing is the greatest threat salmon face. I’d probably trust the fishery scientists, but hey, if we’re just spitballing our own ideas I bet the warm water in the Columbia is a bigger threat. And I bet it’s too late to do much about it. These salmon runs, and these orcas, are probably in their last several years. I don’t really care whether they cull the sea lions or not, and they are certainly not in danger of going extinct, and I guess it seems kind of dumb to get all worked up about killing one kind of animal over another.

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