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The population size. Another thing is that the number he gave about 43% of the Chinook run being taken by sea lines . In fact , all we know is that 43% of the Chinook run doesn’t make it to Bonneville Dam . We don’t know whether they are actually being eaten by sea lions and frankly they probably aren’t that many that are being eaten by sea lions , there’s a lot of other reasons why those fish might not be getting all the way in about 2 Barnet excuse me to Barnaville .
So Guerra we’ve written Naomi brings up a couple of interesting points about how much we don’t know about what’s happening in the sea lions or the possible unintended consequences of killing sea lions that also eat the Predators of juvenile salmon. In other words ecosystems are so complex can humans really understand and manipulate them successfully .
Well , she’s got a point , I mean , I’m going to places of natural ecosystems have been had mixed results. All that a situation where you know the Bonneville the country basically is not a pristine ecosystem in the boreal forest of Canada or well we can allow predator-prey relationships to sort themselves out . I mean there’s a normal oscillating a predator and prey . We are now an official a highly impacted its system that we are spending hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars a year to try to prevent the extinction of a species that is the ICAC for the Pacific Northwest and the keystone species for the health of the other species that share the river . We can’t afford to just watch and observe and hope it’s sort of sorts itself out . We need to be actually managed .
Yeah , I can’t , I can’t agree with that more we absolutely have to stop sitting by and just letting things try to work themselves out because we won’t. And my point has always been that you know some of the very hard decisions that need to be made like preaching strategic breaching a certain down for example , the lower Snake River dams you know which are arguably not needed for hydropower anymore . Nobody wants to make those hard decisions , and so they’re going to shoot some natural predators , and I assure you , even though it’s hundreds of these animals , all of whom will die for nothing because it will not bring the salmon back and less you actually start restoring some of that habitat that absolutely we have severely altered you can shoot obviously lines you want and you will not restore them .
So there’s one restoration. The solution is to breach and dams . What’s the worst thing about that .
Well , let me first say that join us allowing harvest felines or management at sea lions is not a silver bullet or a cover all the salmon and Stewart in the Columbia Basin. But if we don’t do that , we are definitely going to lose populations and put it great jeopardy a species . We’ve invested in . The second is , it’s not , there is a range of things affecting these populations and I should mention that this led this legislation but up would not affect 90% of the CIA in the Columbia Basin . You know , blow by Villa system in those choke points where they’re concentrated gamma removal and other things would be really important , and have a great beneficial effect on recovering salmon and steelhead for sure but we can’t wait for gamma move all that happened before we do things that we can do and the legislation is giving us the freedom to do something we can do at this 11th hour , we’ve got a really do what we can to prevent the extinction of these populations .
I hear a lot of agreement between the 2 of you , but Naomi ghetto is saying yes it’s not these solution v perfect solution but isn’t , isn’t it a a temporary imperfect solution that is worth the shortening of some sea lions lives.
I might you know I’m surprised by saying because I am an animal protection advocate and I absolutely do not believe in bread predator control. I don’t think it ever works , but it might surprise you to hear that I would actually accept some strategic again strategic removal of natural predators in certain situations where they clearly taking some of the last fish that are going up these rivers . If it was coupled with a comprehensive plan that included a strategic dam removal which it is not in this proposal . This is a deflecting proposal that you know basically appeases certain parties that are really quite interesting at the sea lions for eating with famine without coupling it with a more comprehensive plan that includes a strategic dam removal . I get that there’s hundreds of millions of dollars being spent spent on fish out trees and fish ladders and trying to solve some habitat restoration problems . But again , none of those plans seem to include the very politically unpalatable option of strategic dam removal .
Keto it doesn’t , it doesn’t it work like that , that sometimes an easy appeasement can ward off a more serious solution.
Well , I I I disagree.
This is , this is a tool for the management agencies to deal with the crisis that’s happening today on salmon and still had this bill is not addressing all the factors facing salmon and still had threats in the Columbia Basin. This is just something that is a crisis right now that if we don’t fix . We’re going to be kissing goodbye . This really important and valuable populations and salmon and steel head . I mean it is a real crisis that was developed by the fish and wildlife management agencies and to link up with dam removal or something else . It’s a nice thought , but it would it won’t go anywhere . Right now we need to do hope that you know that .
That is precisely. My point there is no political will for that and so killing you seen lines . I assure you will do nothing to recover the salmon it might save some sound that are going up the rivers that are very important I agree to save right now . And so again , if you were limiting it to for example wound that falls or or some specific place where the steelhead are almost gone , I might agree with you but this is a very comprehensive bill . It really does open up the entire Columbia River basin to shooting up to a thousand sea lines that year .
A final big big picture question for both of you. I was reading around and a commenter on the . This is The Statesman Journal who wrote as with dinosaurs and other species still go extinct today , so it may be with salmon . Do I hear both of you saying you’re not willing to let that happen .
Unless you want to look at us humans. You know and our dams and our habitat damage as a media or you know , sort of an act of God that we couldn’t have prevented . No , I couldn’t agree with that any less than I do , I mean , yeah species go extinct . But we could actually stop this . So I don’t agree with that at all .
No I don’t view of it at all. I mean we were so lucky that we have such a rich biological heritage that’s extinction as it sees and this is not about choosing seal sea lions over salmon as far as extinction goes I disagree that I don’t think you can get the salmon recovery without dealing with this predation issue , I mean it’s just , we can’t get there and once we have extensions of local populations that will falls where there is no doubt we won’t get them back . So if I got less to have healthy while eminence Gill had advance and all the other species . A bit of support . You’ve got to give the manager’s latitude to deal with problems the alliance at these choke points .
Well , yes they do currently have it you know there is a provision in the statute right now that allows them to kill individually identifiable animals that are clearly eating endangered salmon runs. I just wanted to get that in there .
So how is it but.
Not working. Know .
Right. There’s there’s there’s a draw a lot .
Fix the problems for what I don’t. This isn’t working . But you know that’s for another conversation .
Yeah , we’ve been talking about this bill passed out of a US Senate committee today co-sponsored by Washington Senator Maria Cantwell , and there is a sort of a companion bill in the House being sponsored by a Jamie her Butler out of battleground Washington and we’ve been talking about it with both Naomi Rose a marine mammal scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute in Washington DC and President , CEO of the wild salmon center dedicated to conservation and sustainable use of wild salmon thanks to both of you.
Thank you very much. Thank you very much .
And again that bill authorizing permits to shoot up to 900 sea lions a year feeding on endangered salmon and steelhead runs. We’ll see how that procedure doesn’t through Congress .
Shakespeare wrote : there is a tide in the affairs of men Jonathan knows exactly what he meant. You know , I had no idea I have no plans , initially to write this book it just kept evolving . Yeah , basically , the book is a journey of a sailor and a writer , trying to understand the Thai over 10 years on 5 continents Jonathan White wrote times the science and spirit of the ocean here his talk on the next speakers form .
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