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Bob Larson Chinook to Orcas Pt 3
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: July 09, 2018

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I’m Bob Larson. It’s a vicious circle! That’s what the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 has created for those interested in bringing back the Chinook Salmon, protecting North Puget Sound Orcas, and allowing Harbor Seal numbers to rebound.

In the end, Harbor Seals have become so plentiful that they’re essentially robbing the Killer Whales of their food …

BARON … “The problem of course is the Harbor Seals eat the Chinook smolts, the baby salmon, and that means that there are far fewer to grow into adult Chinooks that the Orcas need to eat. So by not eating the Harbor Seals, these Killer Whales are in effect starving themselves of the food source that they really need.”

Save Family Farming Director Gerald Baron says a bill passed recently addresses the Sea Lion problem with salmon on the Columbia River, but that it doesn’t include the Harbor Seals in the Salish Sea …

BARON … “What that calls for is lethal removal of a number of them. And what we would like to see is that the tribes be given the responsibility of that removal and be compensated for their work in restoring this balance.”

Bottom line, Baron says this is a great cause, but farmers are practical people …

BARON … “That’s why this is so important for farmers to say, ‘we’ll continue to work on habitat issues, but if we can’t come together and address this predation issue then all that we’re doing there will count for nothing and people need to understand that.”

Baron says Senator Maria Cantwell has been asked to include Harbor Seals into a similar bill she’s working on in the Senate.

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