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Rescuers say sea lions that washed ashore in Malibu died of gunshot wounds

Wildlife rescuers say three sea lions that washed ashore in Malibu earlier this month died of gunshot wounds.

Jonsie Ross with the California Wildfire Center tells KCBS-TV (http://cbsloc.al/1ajbiEX ) that sea lion shootings happen every year in October when squid fishing season begins.

Lights that fishermen use to attract squid also attract sea lions. Fishermen are allowed to use nonlethal means to scare away the sea lions.

The California Wetfish Producers Association, which represents the squid fishery, said fishermen who recently worked in Malibu are unaware of any shootings.

Sea lions are protected under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.

A person could be fined $10,000 and face possible jail time if convicted of shooting a sea lion.

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Information from: KCBS-TV, http://www.cbs2.com/