NOAA ups the reward to $20,000 for information on Steller sea lion deaths


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s law enforcement arm has increased the reward from $5,000 to $20,000 for information that could lead to a civil penalty or criminal conviction for the shooting of seven endangered Steller sea lions in May 2023.

The sea lions were killed near Cordova in the Copper River Delta. They were discovered on May 16 by members of NOAA’s Protected Resources Division. A joint effort with the Alaska Wildlife Troopers confirmed the sea lions had been shot, with no evidence of any intention to harvest or salvage them.

The western population of Steller sea lions has protected status under the Endangered Species Act, which prohibits harassment, harm, or killing of listed species, except for very limited exceptions. The Marine Mammal Protection Act also forbids the killing of marine mammals in most circumstances.

During fisheries up and down the coast, opportunistic sea lions and seals raid the nets of fishermen working their brief seasonal openings. In 2018, a skipper and his crew were found guilty of killing several Stellers in an incident that had happened in 2015 in the same area as this year’s slaughter.

Since the first seven sea lions were found dead of gunshot in May, further surveys have discovered 15 more carcasses.

Anyone with relevant information may contact the investigating agent directly at (907) 250-5188 or the NOAA’s Enforcement Hotline at (800) 853-1964. To report deceased, injured, or stranded marine mammals, contact the Alaska Marine Mammal Stranding Network at (877) 925-7773.


  1. Nature is out of balance. Washington state had this same problem with the Seattle Locks. Hoardes of Sea Lions would congregate at the fish ladders and eat and eat. They became huge. They tried relocation but they all came back. They had to resort to eradication (a dirty little secret kept quiet) to avoid massive losses of breeding salmon.

    • Common sense tells even a school boy that you cannot manage salmon populations while simultaneously refusing to manage predator populations. Like Wally Hickel said, “you can’t let nature run wild.” Its scriptural.

  2. What about the 70k overdose deaths every year from fentanyl in this country brought by the CCP, Mexican drug cartels, and Democrats open borders? “crickets”

  3. I witnessed sea lion harassment and trued to call the feds but got no reply and phone went to message. I attempted to call state and feds for 30 minutes but nobody would help except the state fish and game who gave me the feds number so I gave up.

      • Thanks I knew that but had to comment on it he lack of fish and game over site. All the fish and game stocks are being controlled into a mess with over fishing and game mismanagement.

  4. The story is about the sensless killing of the Stellar sea lion. it’s not about fish, drug cartels or open borders. Whoever did this was simply killing them for sport and should 100 percent be prosecuted to the full extent of the law!

    • We need to get real. The perp is hiding because that is much easier than trying to explain that the sea lions were raiding his nets and got tangled and had to be shot to unentangle them and/or try to recover any fish and the nets themselves. I don’t like the bad optics – sea lions are cute and adorable. But that cuteness stops when you have to fight one. I wish this had not happened, but they’re smart critters who look for the easiest food just like us and a full net looks like free smorgasborg.

    • The previous comment is just making a point. People today continue recognizing the value of wildlife and earth. While at the same time they don’t even value themselves from destroying themselves in the womb to addictions, to destroying people around them. However they get all upset losing their temper over seeing the results of animal cruelty. The points of two readers is we should also care about the human lives we are destroying as this verse tells our Father in heaven cares for us more that he knows every little detail about us. Math 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Our Father cares for the critters just as most do care for the critters, still, He sees us people more valuable so should we.

        • Im curious, who put cattle here? And ranchers, fisherman etc. Your post seems to indicate a bias.
          For the record, my point was not in support, but rather in response to lori who said “The story is about the sensless killing of the Stellar sea lion”. It’s not. It’s about killing sealions and if you want to catch the people doping it, it might help to understand their motive.

  5. Maybe the small herd annoyed a fisherman or one nuisance seal kept destroying his nets, so he took his anger out on this small group.

  6. How about the 85,000 missing illegal migrant children. Or the ANTIFA lawyer threatening the jury in the Andy Ngo vs ANTIFA civil trial in Rose City Oregon? My money is on Earth First in the sea lion murders. Not that I really care. Anyone stupid enough to do that will run their mouth and convict themselves.

  7. Prediction:

    This investigation will end the same way as another one did when an endangered humpback whale and her calf were shot 150 times and killed in Western Alaska a few years ago.

    The same way as another investigation did when a gray whale entered the Kuskokwim River and was shot to death a few years ago.

    The same way the investigation did when 120 caribou were shot and left to rot on the tundra on the North Slope in 2008 (many being females with attending calves.).

    The same way an investigation ended when a threatened wood bison was shot and killed by a guy from Aniak a few years ago.

    Etcetera, etcetera. Does anyone see a trend here?

  8. Village dwellers may not know nor care how the things they do create everlasting stereotypes that pay retribution in white communities. You can tell them in English and they’ll just be hateful to you or sleep with your mate who will then be spoken about as “her boyfriend”. A fact hotly disputed by her “boyfriend”. Pray for them. They need Jesus. It’s quite an Alaskan process. Not a joy to know, watch, or live among. Jesus will set matters straight among many people. There will be a time in which righteousness is to dwell.

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