Harry on the case

This letter was sent to the California Department of Fish and Game and the National Marine Fishery Service.

Last week the city of Malibu received several reports of seals and sea lions with gunshot wounds washing up on beaches in Santa Monica Bay as far west as the Ventura County line and as far east as the Pacific Palisades. These reports have coincided with the recent return of night commercial fishing using flood lights in this area of Santa Monica Bay.

The city has been informed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel that while it is legally possible to shoot at marine mammals it is illegal to actually hit them, according to a ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court, and that a permit is required to even harass marine life in this fashion (by gunfire).

The purpose of this letter is to alert your agency to these reports, which have also appeared in the local press, and to ask that as an appropriate enforcement agency to investigate this matter. As you can well imagine the people who have found these animals are very concerned as is the city that something like this could be going on. Anything you can do to catch the people who are doing this and to stop this from continuing in the future would be greatly appreciated.

Harry R. Peacock,

City Manager

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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