(FOX News) -- A controversial video of a fisherman throwing a small explosive at a raft of sea lions in British Columbia has ignited a heated debated on social media — and prompted an investigation by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).
In the video posted to Facebook, fisherman Allan Marsden is seen lighting a small explosive, referred to as a bear banger and used to ward off aggressive wildlife, and throwing it at the sea lions that have gathered near the boat.
After the explosive detonates, the alarmed sea lions are seen diving under the surface while someone laughs behind the camera.
The video was shared by several Facebook pages — including the Pacific Balance Pinniped Society, which has been calling to substantially cull the growing population of seals and sea lions off the B.C. coast.
Warning: This video contains graphic content // A Facebook group pushing for what it calls 'population management' of seals and sea lions on Canada's Pacific coast recently shared a video of a herring fisherman throwing an explosive into a group of sea lions in the Strait of Georgia. The fisherman is on record with @cbcnews as stating that his intended purpose was to disperse sea lions and not to kill them, as he was checking to see if the herring were ready to spawn. There is no scientific evidence to justify abuse or a ‘cull’ of predators - seals and sea lions, in this case - as the best way to manage marine ecosystems. It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: setting off explosives next to the head of an animal will cause irreparable damage. If it does not injure it enough to kill, it will probably damage its hearing, or destroy an eye. It is illegal to disturb marine mammals on the B.C. coast, which includes the use of acoustic deterrents such as seal bombs or other explosives. Tell the Department of Fisheries and Oceans what you think of this behaviour: @jonathanwnv, @fisheriesoceanscan. Or contact Minister Wilkinson directly by phone 1.613.775.6333 or email Jonathan.Wilkinson@parl.gc.ca And please visit us online to join our global movement that's working to create healthy and abundant oceans. #seals #sealions #bcpoli #animalcruelty #cdnpoli
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