NOAA offers reward for info on shooting of 7 sea lions near Cordova

Steller sea lions
A group of eastern Steller sea lions, seen during research conducted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in 2007. (Photo by Jamie King/ADFG)

Seven Steller sea lions were shot near Cordova last month, and investigators are offering a reward for information that could lead to the shooter.

statement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the sea lions were discovered in the Copper River Delta near Cordova on May 16, by members of the agency’s protected resources division. The Copper River commercial fishery opened just a day earlier. NOAA says the sea lions appear to have been shot with no evidence of an attempt to harvest or salvage them.

Steller sea lions are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act, and killing marine mammals like sea lions is also a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

NOAA is offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to a “civil penalty or criminal conviction” in the shootings. You can call the investigating agent at 907-250-5188, or NOAA’s Enforcement Hotline at 800-853-1964.

A NOAA law enforcement spokesperson declined to comment further on the ongoing investigation.

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