PETITION TARGET: NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement
In a gruesome start to both the fish run season and sea lion high season, 13 sea lions have washed up dead on beaches in the Central Puget Sound since September. Six of these animals died due to gunshot wounds and the rest from serious trauma; one sea lion had been decapitated and the rest succumbed to injuries suspected to be from human interaction.
The Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network reports that these numbers are already six times higher than the yearly average.
Even more worrying is that previous figures indicate that the numbers will increase from December to February as fishermen compete with sea lions for their catch.
Sea lions are protected by federal law — as are all marine mammals. Those caught abusing or killing these beautiful creatures can face huge fines and a prison sentence.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is asking the public to report any incidents involving sea lions to their Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) on 206-526-6133.
Sign this petition urging NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Law Enforcement to do everything in their power to find those responsible and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law, sending a message that these crimes will not be tolerated.