Oregon and Washington will be able to kill sea lions that are feeding on salmon and steelhead trout, under a new policy announced on Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The decision allows the states to cull a total of 92 sea lions per year, but only after the animals have been hazed with rubber buckshot and firecrackers and offered to zoos. Sea lions are shielded by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. In 2011, NOAA withdrew a similar authorization permitting the states to kill problem sea lions near the Bonneville Dam in Oregon.
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