NOAA offers $20K reward to find boater caught on video harassing sea lions

Vessel driving through resting California sea lions. Credit: Michael Brady

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is offering up to $20,000 for information to find a boater who was caught on video harassing sea lions. 

The NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement said the reward will be given to the person with information that leads to a civil penalty or criminal conviction of the suspect. 

The incident in question happened on April 3 on the Columbia River near Hayden Island, Oregon.

They said the boater drove through resting California sea lions. 

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Authorities said the boat is an approximately 19- to 20-foot aluminum Hewescraft Pro-V Sea Runner with a dark blue stripe. It also has a soft top with an aluminum Barewest Fish & Wake Tower and is powered by a Yamaha outboard motor.


A California Sea Lion swims in view of sight-seers aboard the Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching boat Ocean Adventure in Dana Point Harbor amid sunny skies and warm weather in Dana Point Friday, April 21, 2023. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angel

The NOAA said the Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits harassment, hunting, capturing, or killing marine mammals such as sea lions.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Investigating Agent directly at (360) 310-0259 or the 24/7 enforcement hotline at (800) 853-1964. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.