Don’t feed the sea lions — it’s illegal and dangerous - Kodiak Daily Mirror: Letters To Editor

Don’t feed the sea lions — it’s illegal and dangerous

Jon Kurland Assistant Regional Administrator for Protected Resources NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Region | Posted: Friday, May 24, 2019 9:00 am

KODIAK — I appreciated your May 17 story “Sea lions less than stellar” about sea lions becoming a nuisance for Kodiak fishermen. As described in the article, aggressive sea lion behavior is typically associated with people feeding the animals or inadvertently making food available to them. Feeding sea lions or leaving fish or fish discards where sea lions can reach them causes sea lions to become habituated, lose their fear of people, and associate people with food. 

Habituated and food-motivated sea lions are unpredictable and can be dangerous. Feeding changes the natural behaviors of sea lions, decreasing their willingness to find their own food, and increasing chances they will try to steal fish from fishermen, docks or boats.