Port of Newport workers using paint ball guns to stop sea lions making mince meat out of Port Dock 5
As we reported earlier, sea lions are congregating around Yaquina Bay for some reason and they’re looking to haul out of the water wherever they can to stay away from sharks and Killer Whales (ORCAS).
As it turns out some of the sea lions you see in Ed McVea’s drone video have been climbing up on tie up docks for fishing boats at Port Dock 5. And they’re a real threat to the docks from the crushing effects of their weight. Port Manager Kevin Greenwood told News Lincoln County that some port workers were using paint ball guns, but only in ways to get them off the docks. Greenwood said there’s little else a human can do to get sea lions to comply with a human order to move. Loud pyrotechnics can damage sea lion hearing, not to mention the hearing of people in the area. And there are dangers from fires that are sometimes associated with large firecracker type devices.
Greenwood also referred News Lincoln County to a NOAA Bulletin that acknowledged the west coast’s growing problems with congregating sea lions and also acknowledged the damage that such huge beasts can inflict on port and marina docks and other property. NOAA says neither private nor public agencies can harrass endangered species which the sea lions in Yaquina Bay are not. They are not endangered. They were taken off the Endangered Species List in 2013. So the port has been trying to save property from these sea going squatters who could otherwise run up quite a repair bill and inconvenience fishing vessel owners if their slip at any port dock is damaged and no longer useable.
So while many would decry the use of paint ball guns, they are non-lethal and are acceptable devices of deterrence with sea lions.
No word on what’s causing the congregation of sea lions in Yaquina Bay.