On the wildest sides of the BC coast Steller sea lions have made a remarkable come back since the days that our government gunned them down on rookeries like this one. During 1913-68, Steller sea lions in B.C. were subject to major government sponsored kill programs. Breeding rookeries
along the were eradicated by intense kills in the 1920-1930s.
A total of 55,000 sea lions were killed during 1912-68, and by the 1970s breeding populations had been reduced to roughly 25-33% of the peak historic levels thought to have been present in the early 1900s. Today, just as these social, intelligent and relatively long-lived mammals are staging a come back to our coast the same government agencies are entertaining the idea of another cull program even though no evidence exists to show that the intense killing of sea lions increased salmon returns in the past. The fact is that Steller sea lions are generalists and the majority of their prey-base is smaller fish like herring and pollock. The carnage and anguish on these isolated haul outs must have been unimaginable as countless killed and wounded animals suffered under this misguided attempt at saving wild salmon. If we want to save wild salmon there are two simple first steps we can take right now. 1) take all the open net cage salmon farms out of our waters and 2) stop the herring kill fishery. @