Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Welcome. It's Super-link Wednesday!

A month or so ago I wrote about the Children's Pool in La Jolla and the problem with the cute seals there. Evidently there's a baby seal on the beach now that's wrapped in a fishing net. But it's not the fishing net that's killing the seal, it's the red tape. Environmentalists passed a Federal law stating that you can only go within so many feet of a protected species, so the law has to be broken in order to save the seal's life. Too many laws, people, too many laws. Seriously. Sometimes I think the world and all the creatures in it would be better off if the lawmakers took more vacation time. Anyway, the word is now that someone snuck down there in the middle of the night and got the damn net off the baby seal's neck. Criminal! Prosecute!

In further seal news... here's a good one: "Endangered Seals Eating Endangered Salmon"! Well, the headline says it all. Evidently the seals didn't get the memo from the Pacific Fishery Management Council. Of course, the real problem here is the dam which provides a veritable buffet for the seals as the salmon are funneled into a small area. It's like shooting fish in a barrel for the seals! Or shooting seals, since the story is further complicated by the fact that some idiot went down there and shot a few of the seals dead, presumably to protect the salmon in a preemptive strike. I guess the authorities catch the seals and truck them away, but the dam things keep coming back. Those are smart seals! Clearly the problem is the dam, which should be removed entirely, even though that would drive up local energy prices. And in a flagrant display of bias in the media, note how "dam" is spelled "damn" a few paragraphs into it! I love the last line, Brian Gorman of the National Marine Fisheries Service: "We need to look at all the problems and try to fix all of the problems." Do we have a strategy for that? It's like telling everyone on a soccer team to go kick the ball into the net. One suspects we'll just pass more laws.

I don't know about that "National Marine Fisheries Service". In that first linked article a spokesperson for the NMFS says it doesn't believe the little seal pup is in imminent danger. Look at the photo! Oh yeah, he's fine!

But, oh well. Any simple solution would have been imagined and enacted years ago, so there isn't one, really, and I don't have the answers, but a guy should be able to go down and help a poor little seal stuck in a gill net if he wants to and not be worried about being prosecuted.

In the end, the little harbor seal freed from the net may find a fate such as this. But only Canadian Harp seals see this fate. That's good news for the salmon!