The National Marine Fisheries Service has rescinded a policy that allowed officials from Oregon and Washington to kill sea lions preying upon endangered salmon. In 2008, the Fisheries Service granted state officials in Oregon and Washington the authority to trap, relocate, or kill sea lions found eating salmon on the Columbia River. Activists and Humane Society officials have contested the policy ever since. The sea lions—which are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act—migrate to the river from California during the spring salmon run. The Fisheries Service decision, announced Tuesday, came in response to a Humane Society lawsuit contending that sea lions, compared to fishing and hydroelectric power, have a negligible effect on salmon populations.
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