Fishing Flashers Entanglement in Sea lions

September, 2003 : This past few months we have seen three California and Northern Sea lions with fishing flashers hanging from their mouths. These animals pursue fishing lures , probably especially when live bait is used. They swallow the bait, and take down the meter plus length of leader line before the flasher comes to their mouth. The individuals will be seen for several days trailing these flashers. It is not known whether they eventually shed the flasher or whether this leads to an untimely death. Although they can pick up a flasher in waters at some distance from their haulouts, it certainly makes sense to restrict fishing activity when marine mammals are in the vicinity of a fishing vessel.