It’s salmon over cormorants. The Oregon’s federal government has spoken. Eleven thousand cormorants are going to be slaughtered. The underdog fish will get protection and the double crested fish loving birds are going to be eliminated slowly within a 4 year span. This is according to the US Army Corps of Engineer said on Friday.
The document of a final Environmental Impact Statement is still under review.
“This is a difficult situation,” she said. “We are trying to balance the salmon and steelhead vs. the birds. It’s very difficult to find the right answer and so it’s taken us a long time. We’ve had a lot of experts working on it.”
Alternatives were also looked at which suggested hazing the birds to get them off elsewhere, but according to Fredlund, it was just shifting the problem elsewhere.
“We don’t want to just shoot them off the island and let them be somebody else’s problem. This is a regional problem,” she said.
The birds are eating the salmons out of existence, according to Federal officials. Steelhead and juvenile salmon are listed as threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.
The Audubon Society of Portland sees it differently. According to them the real threat comes from loss of ideal habitats, hatcheries and the existing dams.
“We feel the birds are being scapegoated while the primary causes of salmon decline are not being adequately addressed,” sad Bob Sallinger, the local Audubon Society’s conservation director. “Although it’s been reduced, the level of proposed take is still really historic and horrific.”
Included in the plan is the destruction of 26,000 nests and the continued killing of the birds which has been going on for 4 years.
Oiling the nests is one way of destroying it, which is a merciless way of doing it. There’s nothing merciful in killing no matter what system is involved.