History of Sea Shepherd on the Columbia River

Sea Shepherd’s sea lion defense campaign began in 2012. Volunteers known as Dam Guardians remain present at the trap sites in Astoria and at the Bonneville Dam during the sea lion cull from March through May. The actual killings take place where the public can’t witness them and are generally carried out under the cover of darkness.

In addition to witnessing and documenting the cruel and unnecessary hazing, branding, and killing of federally protected California sea lions along the Columbia River, Sea Shepherd hopes to raise awareness around the real issues behind diminishing salmon populations.  The destructive nature of the dam itself, overfishing, and land-use practices that impinge upon the salmon’s habitat are the real culprits behind declining salmon numbers. The sea lions have merely become scapegoats.