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More than 100,000 voices: We want Chilean sea lions protected - not killed!

Apr 2, 2012

Chilean Sea Lions

100,000 people around the world have supported SOS Sea Lions Chile – a campaign by WSPA and local partner Ecoceanos to protect Chile’s sea lions.

Chilean sea lion populations are in danger of being killed in response to the fish scarcity in Chilean waters – despite the fact that decades of over-fishing is the real cause of the fish crisis. The SOS Sea Lions Chile campaign is showing the Chilean government that the world is watching and will not accept this needless killing. We’re also working to stop sea lion hunting for exhibitions in aquariums and the sale of their body parts - giving these social mammals the protection they deserve.

The government is listening

In March, the WSPA and Ecoceanos campaigns team presented 100,000 signatures to President Piñera and Felipe Alessandri, Chile’s Head of Citizen Affairs. As acknowledgment of the petition, President Piñera said he will be talking with relevant Chilean government ministers about the sea lion issue.

Protecting sea lions right now

The public pressure and advocacy around the campaign has already stopped 92 sea lions from being captured – they were destined for a life of misery and captivity in zoos and aquariums, but now remain free.

We’re also fighting for the lives of 300 sea lions in northern Chile – publicly challenging a statement by the Fisheries secretariat recommending a hunting quota be issued immediately.

“People around the world don’t want Chile to kill sea lions,” said Ricardo Jiménez, WSPA Campaign Manager of SOS Sea Lions Chile. “Furthermore, these animals could actually provide substantial economic benefit to the people of Chile through the development of a sustainable and humane sea lion watching industry. This is happening in Argentina and Uruguay – and research shows that it can be successful in Chile, too.”

Next steps for sea lion safety

SOS Sea Lions Chile is doing well in its efforts, but the fight to protect the sea lions is not over. WSPA and Ecoceanos continue to pressure the Chilean Parliament to ensure that a bill is passed that will remove the existing loophole that allows the capture and killing of sea lions to occur.

We thank all of our supporters who signed the March petition, and will keep you updated on this issue.

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