Astoria sea lions: pests or tourist attraction?

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) Sea lions: marina pests or tourist attraction? That was the debate that broke out at a special meeting Tuesday of the Port of Astoria commission.

The audience included animal welfare advocates who have been protesting the branding and harassing of sea lions by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at the East End Mooring Basin.

The Daily Astorian reports the port recently shut down the basin's causeway because families and children were getting too close to the animals.

Commissioners and others talked about protecting boats and other property from sea lion damage. Members of the Sea Lion Defense Brigade suggested the port should protect sea lions and use them as a tourist attraction.

Information from: The Daily Astorian

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.