FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Brian Gorman
News Releases 2003
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) is offering a reward for information regarding two adult male California Sea Lions found dead May 17 in Gold Beach, Oregon, as a result of wounds inflicted by a shotgun. NOAA Fisheries is an agency of the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
NOAA Fisheries enforcement agents are seeking information about the shooting incident, which is a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and will pay $2,500 for information that leads to a prosecution and conviction in this case.
“It is illegal under the Marine Mammal Protection Act to harass or feed marine mammals in the wild,” said Special Agent James Houseman, NOAA Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement - Northwest Division. “The person who committed this act can face a hefty fine and civil penalties in addition to jail time.”
The sea lions were discovered by Gold Beach Marina personnel located near the mouth of the Rogue River. The sea lions died one week prior to their discovery, according to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel. The animals weighed between 600 to 800 pounds and were in excellent physical condition. An Oregon State Police Trooper used a metal detector and obtained a positive reading for metal.
The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (MMPA) protects seals, sea lions and all species of marine mammals. Under the MMPA it is illegal to harass or feed marine mammals in the wild.
If people find a seal or other marine mammal entangled, struck by a vehicle or boat, or otherwise visibly injured, NOAA Fisheries requests that they contact the toll-free Office for Law Enforcement (OLE) hotline at 1-800-853-1964 or the nearest stranding network member.
The OLE asks any citizen with information concerning this incident to please call either of the following:
NOAA Fisheries is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources through scientific research, management, enforcement and the conservation of marine mammals and other protected marine species and their habitat
The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.
On the Web:
NOAA Fisheries: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov
Responsible Marine Mammal Viewing: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/prot_res/MMWatch/MMViewing.html
Any officer or employee of the United States or of any Foreign, State
or local government, or their family members, who furnishes information
or renders service in the performance of his official duties shall
not be eligible for payment under this reward offer.