Exploding Salish Sea seal population sparks call for a cull

Tens of thousands of seals in the Salish Sea are devouring millions of adult and juvenile salmon, sparking renewed debate about culling the furry predators. Recent studies have linked high seal-population density to troubled chinook runs and the decline of southern resident killer whales that feed on chinook in the summer.,, A tenfold increase in the population of harbour seals in B.C. waters since then is linked to a massive drop in marine survival of chinook salmon in 14 of 20 wild populations in a new study from the University of British Columbia. By contrast, hatchery fish — another potential explanation — had little impact. “Changes in numbers of seals since the 1970s were associated with a 74-per-cent decrease in maximum sustainable yield in chinook stocks,” it reads. >click to read<10:27

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