A controversial video of a fisherman throwing a small explosive at a raft of sea lions in British Columbia has ignited a heated debated on social media — and prompted an investigation by the Canadian Division of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).
Within the video posted to Fb, fisherman Allan Marsden is seen lighting a small explosive, known as a bear banger and used to beat back aggressive wildlife, and throwing it on the sea lions which have gathered close to the boat.
After the explosive detonates, the alarmed sea lions are seen diving beneath the floor whereas somebody laughs behind the digicam.
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The video was shared by a number of Fb pages — together with the Pacific Stability Pinniped Society, which has been calling to considerably cull the rising inhabitants of seals and sea lions off the B.C. coast.
In a Fb submit, the society defends Marsden, who was out with a crew testing for herring roe percentages.
“That is what the herring check boats are coping with at evening proper now. Theoretically darkness brings the herring to the floor, which makes it simpler to catch them. The check boats are to toss rings with nets and drag up about fifty kilos of herring to pattern for roe share content material from the nets,” the submit begins.
“Right here is one video displaying a bear banger getting used to attempt to get the ocean lion horde to maneuver off, so the boys can conduct their work. It is all the time to no avail, for in a couple of minutes they return. Take into account what you hear and see, 4 instances as many are down diving on the large herring faculty 20 plus fathoms beneath the boat,” it continues.
Marsden additionally explains his actions, claiming the explosion was essential to cope with the harmful animals.
“I acquired bit earlier than. I am fortunate that I am not in a wheelchair, or worse, dragged overboard and drowned by the ocean lion,” Marsden mentioned to CTV Information. “There’s nothing I will not do to guard the crew on this boat. Nothing.”
However the crew nonetheless was unable to get a reside fish for his or her herring pattern.
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Jonathan Wilkinson, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, advised CTV Information Marsden’s actions have been “clearly unlawful” — although fisherman Thomas Sewid claims it isn’t unlawful.
“There’s a dialog occurring concerning the variety of seals and sea lions on each the east coast and the west coast, and there is a professional dialog available concerning the impacts of that,” Wilkinson mentioned. “That’s totally different from a particular instance the place persons are harassing and doing one thing that’s clearly unlawful with respect to marine mammals.”
These on Fb have responded each praising and slamming the video.
“Unhappy and disturbing! Caught within the act and needs to be charged!” one individual wrote on Fb.
“Oh my god. Simply wow. How merciless and evil,” one other shocked by the video wrote.
“That’s not humorous…why are they laughing…” one wrote.
“Thomas you might be doing an incredible job shedding mild on this subject that most individuals don’t have any clue what has been occurring ..they usually marvel why are Herring and salmon have been impacted so badly … Shared !!!” one in help of the video wrote.
“Man we have to harvest and take our waters again..They’re uncontrolled,” one in favor of culling wrote.
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“Too many dang sea lions, they can’t do their jobs as dictated by DFO. Time for DFO to do their job and let we fishers repair the issue by eradicating the ocean lions,” one other wrote.
Regardless of the backlash, the Pinniped society appears completely happy about how viral the video went.
“Take a look at the brilliant aspect, no less than over one million individuals now know concerning the plight industrial fisherman are it. Allan is the captain who acquired dangerous chew on butt from agrressive sea lion,” Sewid wrote.
Fox Information’ Michael Bartiromo and Michelle Gant contributed to this report.