WATCH: Sea lion feeding frenzy on commercial herring catch

VANCOUVER – Commercial herring fishermen are concerned about the explosion of the sea lion population and the effect it could have on herring stocks.

The above sea lion feeding frenzy was filmed in December at a herring fishery near Qualicum Beach.

Fishermen say the sea lions have now figured out how to get into the herring nets, get the fish and in many cases, chase the fish out of the nets to eat them.

“Every night it gets progressively worse,” said Neil Jensen, an Okanagan-based fisherman.

“They come and it’s like 500 of them, it’s just like whitewater. And you can’t do nothing.”

He said this year has been worse than last year and the problem isn’t going away.

“It’s so bad, what we do is we put a decoy boat out.. and then the sea lions all go over,” said Jensen. That is when the fishermen try and get some herring in to their boats while the sea lions are distracted.

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“They’re not even our sea lions, they’re California sea lions, they just don’t go home no more,” he added. “You have to go out and see it to believe it.”

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