California sea lion amidst trapping devices at the Bonneville DamCalifornia sea lion amidst trapping devices
at the Port of Astoria
Photo: Sea Lion Defense Brigade
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society needs volunteers to be present at the Bonneville Dam and at the trap site in Astoria, Oregon, to help stop the slaughter, by state workers, of up to 92 federally protected California sea lions on the Columbia River.  The salmon run has begun and sea lions are already being targeted for branding, hazing, and lethal removal for the crime of eating salmon.

As Captain Paul Watson has said:

“Sea Shepherd understands perfectly that salmon are endangered and we also understand that they are not endangered because of sea lions. More salmon are killed in the turbines of the dam than by sea lions. Commercial, sport, and native fishermen take far more salmon from the Columbia River run than the sea lions. Pollution kills more salmon than the sea lions.  The sea lion is being scapegoated because they are (1) convenient, (2) they don’t vote, (3) killing them gives an appearance that the salmon are being protected and (4) the government bureaucrats are simply too damn lazy to deal with the problem in a positive and ecologically efficient manner.”

Sea Shepherd is not a protest organization.  We are a direct-action organization.  We believe that by our constant vigilance on the river, we can affect change and save the lives of sea lions.  Sea lions have been documented on the Columbia River since the time of Lewis and Clark. Sea lions consume salmon as a form of sustenance.  Effective and forward-thinking solutions to protect endangered salmon do not involve the use of medieval torture devises like the barbaric metal trap used to restrain sea lions as state workers permanently brand their flesh with hot irons and mark them for eventual death. It is time for us as a species to find ways to share the river with sea lions instead of killing them.

We are not alone in this endeavor.  Monitors with the Sea Lion Defense Brigade and other groups are working towards the same goals.  Sea Shepherd is now looking for Dam Guardian volunteers to serve between March 15 and May 31, 2013.  We need people who can work independently, professionally and remain calm, deliberate, courageous, and passionate.  Sea Shepherd's Cove Guardian and Dam Guardian Veteran Ashley Lenton will be leading the campaign.

Want to get involved? Please e-mail:

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