Is it OK to kill marine mammals that are eating endangered salmon? Now that's a tough question.
How about when the seals are so cheeky that they're swimming into fish ladders at Bonneville dam? That's 140 miles upstream from the ocean.
Sea lions have invaded the big Bonneville dam fish ladders on the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington. They wait for fish dinners, right where the salmon have to swim to get upstream and spawn. Outraged fishermen are seeking permission from the US Govt to kill sea lions that they believe are taking away their fish. All manner of screens and loud noises and rubber bullets have not kept the sea lions away, so maybe it's time to bring on something stronger. Never mind that the real problem is the dam and fish ladders, we have a situation here.
Some biologists support killing predators in unusual situations where endangered fish are subject to especially harmful impacts. Is this one of those situations? Sea lions are estimated to take only a few % of the salmon. And...fishermen primarily want the salmon for themselves.
The plot thickens...there's a long tradition of fishermen killing seals and sea lions that are eating "their" fish. Some fishermen in New England want to propose seal kills, based on the idea that seals are harming cod and other species. There are the same cod that have been overfished by humans for at least the last 2 decades in a row, and probably much, much longer.
Certainly the sea lions aren't doing themselves any favors by waving out the window of the fish ladder at people who came to see salmon.