Further to my letter of Jan. 4 regarding the culling of harbour seals and sea lions, I would like to offer the following.
Recent studies estimate the harbour seal population to be 80,000 in Lower Mainland waters. Harbour seals eat 10-18 pounds of food each day. At an average of 15 pounds, they consume 1.2 million pounds a day, or 438 million pounds a year.
Add to that: thousands of California sea lions who migrate to the area annually to prey on our salmon runs and who weigh two to three times as much as a harbour seal and likely eat 30-60 pounds a day.
Add to that: pinnipeds prefer the guts of fish, often leaving the edible carcass.
Add to that: their reproductive rate is in excess of 12 per cent annually.
These facts then beg the following questions.
1. Do you really believe there is a never-ending supply of food for these animals?
2. Are you aware of what happens when there is insufficient food for a population?
3. Are you prepared to sacrifice the resident orcas and the Pacific salmon population rather than control the proliferation of these predators?
4. Do you really believe that reducing the population of these animals will not enhance the population of salmon and their food?
5. Are you prepared to risk our sports and commercial fishing industries?
6. Are you prepared to have your beaches and marinas abandoned to these animals?
7. Are you prepared to have many areas of the coast fouled by their stink and waste?
If you think the above questions are irrelevant then Save the Seals!
Bruce Smith, Halfmoon Bay