Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission Policy Position on Reducing Pinniped Predation on Salmon

August 11, 2018

Based on the information on record at this time, and until such time as there is a more equitable balance between the population abundance status of pinniped species and ESA-listed wild salmon populations in the State of Washington, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission advocates for authorization of greater flexibility in the management of pinniped populations in Federal and State legislation, towards a goal of significantly reducing pinniped predation on salmon. Further, the Commission tasks the Director with expeditious and efficient implementation of any flexibility forthcoming from successful passage of such legislation.

This policy position applies to the Columbia River, coastal river basins, and Puget Sound including the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Flexibility in management activity should include a priority to actively discourage pinniped residence in areas of salmon predation, including effective harassment and lethal removal, both done in a humane manner that discourages residence and predation behavior.