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Dead sea lions are washing up on Puget Sound shores — with bullet holes

Between 1998 and 2017, NOAA Fisheries reported that up to 700 California sea lions were found with gunshot and stab wounds across their range which includes the waters off California, Oregon and Washington.

Editor The ARK Center

HAL BERNTON: ‘Since September, six sea lions have been confirmed to have died from gunshot wounds in central Puget Sound and Kitsap County, according to Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network, a group that responds to reports of stranded or dead sea lions. Another seven are suspected to have died from “acute trauma” caused by humans, including a decomposed sea lion with its head sliced off found washed ashore in a West Seattle cove… NOAA Fisheries law-enforcement agents are investigating these crimes, which are prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and can result in fines of up to $28,520 along with up to one year of imprisonment…

Between 1998 and 2017, National Geographic, citing NOAA Fisheries, reported that up to 700 California sea lions were found with gunshot and stab wounds across their range which includes the waters off California, Oregon and Washington… Many sea-lion killings go unsolved. Anyone with information about a violation of the federal act is asked to call 800-853-1964. California sea lions were once hunted for pet food and pelts almost to extinction, but their population has undergone a remarkable recovery, increasing from less than 90,000 in 1975 to more than 250,000 in 2014. As their numbers have expanded, so too have their conflicts with humans, including some fishermen angry that sea lions may go after the salmon hooked on their lines’. SOURCE…

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