Monday May 23, 2022

Toronto Star

The seals and sea lions gathered around the docks of Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island are a beautiful sight.

Some are sleeping, some are barking, while others are playing in the water. For the throng of visitors vacationing this summer, seeing a sea lion scarf down a whole salmon in two bites is a West Coast moment they’ll never forget.

But an increasing number of the protected seals and sea lions (larger than seals, sea lions can walk) may be upsetting the balance of the British Columbia marine ecosystem. Now some First Nations are proposing a cull.

“Environmentalists trying to stop traditional seal and sea lion hunts … are trying to starve out the Indians,” says Tom Sewid of the Kwakwak’wakw First Nation on northeastern Vancouver Island. “I won’t put up with it.”

And as seals and sea lions have prospered, salmon have struggled.

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