HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL 4008
State of Washington 54th Legislature 1995 Regular Session
By Representatives Basich, Pennington, Johnson, Quall, Kremen, Fuhrman, Chappell, Hatfield, Backlund and Sheldon
Read first time 01/17/95. Referred to Committee on Natural Resources.
TO THE HONORABLE BILL CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, Harbor seal and sea lion populations have greatly expanded in recent years due to the almost absolute protection afforded them under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act; and
WHEREAS, Seals and sea lions are active predators upon anadromous fish such as salmon and steelhead trout; and
WHEREAS, Anadromous fish populations are significantly reduced in numbers throughout Washington state, and some stocks have been listed as threatened or endangered species; and
WHEREAS, Many more anadromous fish stocks are likely to be listed as threatened or endangered; and
WHEREAS, In order to allow certain salmon and steelhead populations to recover to and be sustained at viable levels, it will be necessary to have more flexibility to manage seals and sea lions in identifiable areas where they cause unacceptable mortality levels in specific fish runs; and
WHEREAS, While recent amendments to the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act do allow for lethal removal of problem seals or sea lions, the process established to do so is cumbersome and time-consuming and will do little to protect the fish; and
WHEREAS, Seal and sea lion predation of anadromous fish is a problem that has been going on for some time and needs to be addressed with some urgency;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that the Marine Mammal Protection Act be modified to allow for a more common-sense approach to managing predacious seals and sea lions, including provision for reasonable, balanced, and prudent population levels of seals and sea lions in Washington state and provision for the active management of abundant populations at set levels determined with modern wildlife management science by federal and state management agencies, including use of a less cumbersome lethal removal option when and where necessary. In asking for these amendments, it is not our intention to decimate or eliminate seals and sea lions but to find balance between protection of marine mammals and protection of anadromous fish.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable Bill Clinton, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.
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