news 130612 1 sea lionThe United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs of the House Natural Resources Committee is expected to hold a legislative hearing on HR 1308 “The Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act” on June 13, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.

Introduced on March 21, 2013, by Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA), HR 1308 is a death sentence for sea lions on the Columbia River. If enacted, the proposed legislation would strip existing federal protections for California sea lions, who have long been scapegoated on the Columbia River as predators of endangered salmon:

  • H. R. 1308 would exempt any lethal program for sea lions in the Columbia River Basin from National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis;
  • H.R. 1308 would eliminate the requirement for notice in the Federal Register, and any opportunity for the public to comment on a proposed permit or to review the results of the program. In 1994, when Congress first considered the possibility of killing sea lions to protect endangered fish, it took steps to assure there would be public oversight and proper review.

Under the proposed legislation, the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and several Tribal organizations would be able to apply to the Secretary of Commerce for annually renewable permits to lethally remove sea lions. The Secretary, at his or her sole discretion, would be able to issue permits to authorize the killings. The proposed legislation ignores the fact that several empirically validated factors have a far greater impact on Columbia River salmon runs than sea lions:

  1. Fisheries (sport, commercial and Tribal) take up to 17 percent of the wild salmon run on the Columbia River. In its most recent annual report, the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers stated that California Sea Lions consumed .6 percent of the same wild salmon run in 2012. The government has asserted that the 17 percent predation rate by humans is “minor if at all measurable.”  If that is the case, why are sea lions to be killed for consuming less than 1 percent of the same salmon run? 
  2. The government also concluded that 7 to 16 percent of adult fish are killed by the dams they must navigate and has said that this level does not jeopardize salmon. Far fewer fish are killed by sea lions than by fishermen or dams.
  3. In 2009, an independent blue-ribbon science panel reported to Congress its concerns about the impacts wild fish faced from competition with hatchery-raised fish. The panel recommended reforming hatchery management, yet the federal government admitted in a 2012 report that no changes have been made.
  4. The Columbia River was intentionally stocked with bass, walleye, and other non-native fish to benefit sport fishermen and the states limit what fishermen can catch in order to keep these non-native fish abundant. These fish eat up to 2 million young salmon each year and compete for habitat, yet no efforts have been made to stop or reduce this impact.
  5. The water in the Columbia River is toxic. A 2012 report released by the environmental group Columbia Riverkeepers found levels of arsenic, mercury and PCB that exceed what the Environmental Protection Agency recommends for safe, unrestricted fish consumption. Step one in any effort to protect salmon and people should be to clean up the river.

Sea Shepherd is calling on its supporters who are constituents of the Members of the House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs to call their Representatives TODAY and ask that they OPPOSE HR 1308. Doc Hastings introduced an identical bill in 2012. While the bill made it through the House, it died in the Senate. With your help, we can kill this bill and save the sea lions! Please call your Members and politely urge them to oppose HR 1308.

Below is contact information for the Members of the United States House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs. For assistance identifying your Member of Congress click here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

John Fleming, Chairman, Lousiana 4th District - phone (202) 225-2777

 http://fleming.house.gov  

Don Young, Alaska, At-Large – phone (202) 225-5765

 http://donyoung.house.gov

Rob Wittman, Virginia 1st District - phone (202) 225-4261

 http://www.wittman.house.gov

Glenn Thompson, Pennsylvania, 5th District – phone (202) 225-5121

 http://thompson.house.gov

Jeff Duncan, South Carolina, 3rd District – phone (202) 225-5301

 http://jeffduncan.house.gov

Steve Southerland, II, Florida, 2nd District – phone (202) 225-5235

 http://southerland.house.gov

Bill Flores, Texas, 17th District – phone (202) 225-6105

 http://flores.house.gov

Jon Runyan, New Jersey, 3rd District – phone (202) 225-4765

 http://runyan.house.gov

Gregory Kilili Camacho Sablan, Ranking Member, Northern Mariana Islands, At-Large – phone (202) 225-2646

 http://sablan.house.gov

Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, American Samoa, At-Large – phone (202) 225-8577

 http://www.house.gov/faleomavaega/index.shtml

Frank Pallone, Jr., New Jersey, 6th District – phone (202) 225-4671

 http://pallone.house.gov

Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Guam, At-large – phone (202) 225-1188

 http://bordallo.house.gov

Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico, At-large – phone (202) 225-2615

 http://pierluisi.house.gov

Carol Shea-Porter, New Hampshire, 1st District – phone (202) 225-5456

 http://shea-porter.house.gov

Alan Lowenthal, California, 47th District – phone (202) 225-7924

 http://lowenthal.house.gov

Joe Garcia, Florida, 26th District – phone (202) 225-2778

 http://garcia.house.gov

Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts, 7th District, Ex-Officio – phone (202) 225-2836

 http://markey.house.gov

Doc Hastings, Washington, 4th District, Ex-Officio – phone (202) 225-5816

 http://hastings.house.gov

Sea Shepherd
From Taiji to Tanks: A Look at the Barren Lives of Captive Dolphins
From Taiji to Tanks: A Look at the Barren Lives of Captive Dolphins
In November 2015, Sea Shepherd's Cove Guardians observed the captive cetaceans at Japan's Adventure World.Though this marine park has dolphins from Taiji, the suffering behind cetacean captivity looks much the same around the world. To learn how you can support Operation Henkaku and help us break t...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 03 - Sailing with Dolphins
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 03 - Sailing with Dolphins
The crew of Sea Shepherd's research sailing vessel, the R/V Martin Sheen, sails in search of the smallest cetacean in the world, the endangered vaquita marina porpoise.
M/V Farley Mowat Crew Prepares for Operation Milagro II
M/V Farley Mowat Crew Prepares for Operation Milagro II
Join the crew of the M/V Farley Mowat as they prepare the ship to embark on its maiden Sea Shepherd campaign - Operation Milagro II, Fall 2015 Vaquita Porpoise Defense Campaign. With an estimated 97 individuals remaining, the endangered vaquita is facing the very real threat of extinction. Please ...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 01 - Turtle Rescue
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 01 - Turtle Rescue
The Vlog from the Gulf of California 01 - Turtle Rescue. Follow the crew of the Research Vessel, the R/V Martin Sheen, as they patrol the upper Gulf of California in Mexico - to protect the most endangered marine mammal in the world, the vaquita marina porpoise.
Taiji, Japan - Pilot whale tethered and drowned
Taiji, Japan - Pilot whale tethered and drowned
A wounded pilot whale, visibly bleeding and barely able to stay above the surface of the water, is tethered and drowned in the cove by Taiji's killers, after briefly escaping from under the tarps where its pod is being slaughtered.
Operation Milagro II Vaquita Defense Campaign
Operation Milagro II Vaquita Defense Campaign
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society returns to Mexico to protect the critically endangered vaquita marina in the only waters on Earth this petite porpoise calls home. Working in partnership with the Mexican government, Sea Shepherd will strive to bring about a miracle for the endangered vaquita before...
Sea Shepherd Central America Goodwill Campaign for the Pacific
Sea Shepherd Central America Goodwill Campaign for the Pacific
A look at Sea Shepherd Central America's journey of research and observation to Cocos Island, a world-renowned marine sanctuary located 350 miles offshore. The goal of the goodwill campaign is to promote awareness for the protection of species that inhabit the Central Pacific.
Gregg Lowe Supports Sea Shepherd
Gregg Lowe Supports Sea Shepherd
Actor Gregg Lowe, star of "X-Men: Days of Future Past," discusses the importance of Sea Shepherd's work to protect the oceans, why he is vegan for the planet and for all species, and his desire to join a Sea Shepherd campaign to defend ocean wildlife on the frontlines. Video by: Reece Pickering
Operation Henkaku 2015 Dolphin Defense Campaign
Operation Henkaku 2015 Dolphin Defense Campaign
Sea Shepherd's Cove Guardians are gearing up for the sixth season of our Taiji Dolphin Defense Campaign. As we return to the cove to expose the brutal capture and slaughter of dolphins and small whales, stand with us! The dolphins need you! To volunteer as a Cove Guardian, please email groundcrew@s...
12 Defendants, One Movement. Warning Graphic Footage.
12 Defendants, One Movement. Warning Graphic Footage.
“We were one small boat and five bodies against 500 people on the beach and 50 boats pushing…but there’s no reason not to fight.” On August 12, 61 pilot whales were slaughtered on the killing beach of Sandavágur in the Faroe Islands. With the odds stacked against them, in the face of adve...
Operation Jairo Crew Protect Nesting Leatherback Turtle
Operation Jairo Crew Protect Nesting Leatherback Turtle
Just feet from where they were attacked not a month before, Sea Shepherd's Operation Jairo volunteers defend a nesting leatherback turtle from poachers on Pacuare Beach in Costa Rica. All 63 eggs are now being protected in a hatchery, where they will have the best chance of survival out of the hands...
#StandUp250 Corsica (France) - Xavier Figarella
#StandUp250 Corsica (France) - Xavier Figarella
"They asked me, 'do you want cuffs' and I said 'Yes, it's better.' Because inside it was like an explosion.” Xavier is one of 7 Sea Shepherd crewmembers arrested in the Faroe Islands since July 20. Their 'crime'? Defending pilot whales from slaughter. For more information on how you can #StandUp...
Meet the Crew: Operation Jairo – Honduras
Meet the Crew: Operation Jairo – Honduras
Meet some of the Sea Shepherd volunteers in Honduras for Operation Jairo, Sea Shepherd's 2015 Sea Turtle Defense Campaign! The crew hails from all over the world, from countries including the United States, Australia, Norway, and France. These volunteers work tirelessly to patrol the beaches in Hond...
#StandUp250 Italy - Marianna Baldo
#StandUp250 Italy - Marianna Baldo
“In the same way that they think they …. have the right to kill these animals, that are wild animals, I have exactly the same right to save them.” Marianna is one of 7 Sea Shepherd crewmembers arrested in the Faroe Islands since July 20. Their 'crime'? Defending pilot whales from slaughter. ...
The Trial Begins
The Trial Begins
Video update from Tórshavn court this morning as five Sea Shepherd crewmembers stand trial for StandingUp for the pilot whales of the Faroe Islands. Take action: http://www.seashepherd.org/standup250
Denmark's Shame
Denmark's Shame
The slaughter of cetaceans is outlawed throughout the European Union, including Denmark, in accordance with Appendix II of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention). However, in the Faroe Islands, the slaughter of pilot whales and other small ce...
#StandUp250 Belgium - Christophe Bondue
#StandUp250 Belgium - Christophe Bondue
"We're just here ... to try to save lives." Christophe is one of 7 Sea Shepherd crewmembers arrested in the Faroe Islands since July 20. Their 'crime'? Defending pilot whales from slaughter. For more information on how you can #StandUp250 for the pilot whales of the Faroe Islands, and for Sea Shephe...
#StandUp250 South Africa - Rosie Kunneke
#StandUp250 South Africa - Rosie Kunneke
"Calling something a tradition doesn't make it right. I grew up in the tradition of apartheid and we begged the world to come and help us; to get rid of that ugliness." Rosie is one of 7 Sea Shepherd crewmembers arrested in the Faroe Islands since July 20. Their 'crime'? Defending pilot whales from...
Mass Slaughter Of Pilot Whales In The Faroe Islands. WARNING. GRAPHIC
Mass Slaughter Of Pilot Whales In The Faroe Islands. WARNING. GRAPHIC
WARNING: GRAPHIC. Mass Slaughter Of Pilot Whales In The Faroe Islands. Sea Shepherd Crew Arrested. On July 23 2015, approximately 250 pilot whales were slaughtered on the killing beaches of the Faroe Islands. The slaughters, known by the traditional Faroese term ‘grindadráp, took place in two se...
Meet the Crew: Operation Jairo – Costa Rica
Meet the Crew: Operation Jairo – Costa Rica
Meet the team of dedicated volunteers working to protect nesting turtles and their hatchlings on the shores of Costa Rica as part of Operation Jairo, Sea Shepherd’s 2015 Sea Turtle Defense Campaign. This international crew includes volunteers from Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Germany, th...
Operation Jairo 2015 Sea Turtle Defense Campaign
Operation Jairo 2015 Sea Turtle Defense Campaign
Sea Shepherd launches Operation Jairo, second-annual sea turtle anti-poaching campaign in Costa Rica, Honduras and Florida. Credits and special thanks: Film by BlueMedia.no Music by Kai-Anders Ryan kaiandersryan.no Photos by Mélanie Chamorel melaniechamorel.com "Turtle in trouble" photo by Jordi C...
Sea Shepherd Captures Rare Footage of Elusive Vaquita During First Sighting since 2013
Sea Shepherd Captures Rare Footage of Elusive Vaquita During First Sighting since 2013
On April 18, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society captured rare footage of the elusive and endangered vaquita porpoise in the waters of Mexico’s Gulf of California, the small cetacean’s only home on Earth. The sighting marks the first time since 2013 the shy creature has been spotted and filmed in ...
Strong Hearts, Iron Will – Sam Simon Crew Pays Tribute to the Late Sam Simon
Strong Hearts, Iron Will – Sam Simon Crew Pays Tribute to the Late Sam Simon
The Crew of Sea Shepherd's M/V Sam Simon pays tribute to the late activist, philanthropist, great humanitarian and TV Executive Sam Simon, thanking him for the wonderful ship he provided for them to save marine life in Antarctica and around the world. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is pro...
Sea Shepherd Does What Others Can't or Won't
Sea Shepherd Does What Others Can't or Won't
Sea Shepherd. Who are we? What do we do? Sea Shepherd is not just an organization. It’s a global movement. Volunteer crews boldly go where others can’t or won’t. Here’s a look at some highlights of some of our recent campaigns to defend, conserve and protect marine wildlife and habitats wo...
Sea Shepherd's Operation Infinite Patience: The Cove Guardians expose Taiji
Sea Shepherd's Operation Infinite Patience: The Cove Guardians expose Taiji
Melissa Sehgal and her Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian team highlight the daily atrocities that occur against much beloved, intelligent and social dolphins in Taiji, Japan for six months of each year.