An investigation is underway into the deliberate killing of several Steller sea lions near Cordova, Alaska, with the reward for information on the incident at $7,500.
NOAA Fisheries received the initial report of several dead marine mammals on a beach near Cordova on June 1. With support from a District 17 US Coast Guard helicopter crew, NOAA biologists and law enforcement personnel were able to reach the remote site and examined the dead sea lions, whose wounds indicated they had been intentionally killed.
NOAA has asked anyone with knowledge about the incident to contact NOAA Special Agent Glenn Charles at 907-271-1874. Tips may be left anonymously.
The initial $2,500 reward offered by NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement was boosted in early July when Cordova District Fishermen United added $5,000, bringing the total reward to $7,500.
Killing marine mammals is a violation of federal law under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, with limited exceptions such as for subsistence hunting by Alaska Natives. The western population of Steller sea lions is also protected under the Endangered Species Act, which likewise prohibits harassing, harming or killing listed species, with very limited exceptions.
Reports of stranded, injured or sick marine mammals may be called in to NOAA toll free at 1-877-925-7773.