With the help and support of the Navy staff, we took the sea lion to the city’s marine rescue center. In the vehicle, he looked quietly at our eyes and leaned on our arms. Eventually he started to sleep and we realized he had reached a level of comfort with us and sensed that we wanted to help. He was able to recognize our intentions, which were to do our best to protect him from any danger.
We arrived at the marine rescue center and had to wake our little friend up. We entrusted him to the caring staff, until he could recover and be returned to his home. We expect to see him again swimming in the sea enjoying his freedom, without the threat of those who want to allow the capture and hunting of sea lions in Chile.
April 10, 2012-Happy news! The baby sea lion was released yesterday at Papache Beach by the authorities. Sea Shepherd supporters from Iquique City attended the event. The Sea lion was fully recovered and happy. Our volunteers will keep an eye on him, to monitor if he appears again at the beach.
Special Thanks to: Barbara Gajardo, David Gómez, Zico Henríquez, and all of Sea Shepherd Chile´s team and supporters.
Chilean Sea Lions are at the heart of a great debate. Despite the fact that sea lions are legally protected in Chile (capture and hunting activities are prohibited), there is currently a big discussion in the country about them. There is a serious lack of fish from the very north to the very South of Chile-along the entire coastline. Fishermen blame sea lions for that, but the obvious truth is that the problem is not the sea lions; it’s the aggressive and senseless industrial fishing and trawling taking place in our world’s oceans. Fishermen blame sea lions for destroying and damaging their fishnets. Salmon Farms blame them for destroying their cages and eating their salmons. Both parties are killing sea lions illegally for those reasons.
The Chilean fishing authority already gave an order to hunt 300 sea lions in Arica City, because “there is an overpopulation problem, they are eating fish and damaging people property”. None of those reasons are true. But, we have to ask ourselves, why these lies? Why are these people so intent on captures and kill quotas? The answer is simple: money talking.
There is not a single study proving sea lion overpopulation, however there are many companies looking to obtain sea lions as “clowns” for their so-called “aquatic parks”. There is also an underground market selling sea lion genitals to Asian countries touting false claims of aphrodisiac qualities.
Sea Shepherd Chile´s crewmembers have been investigating and documenting illegal activities regarding this subject for many months now. During the upcoming weeks, we will begin sharing all our information. Sea Lions are in great peril and we must protect them, no matter what.