A non-profit group in British Columbia is calling for the expansion of Indigenous hunting rights to curb the growing numbers of sea lions invading Vancouver Island’s shores.

The Pacific Balance Pinniped Society calls the mammals an invasive species that wreaks havoc on the local fishing industry.

Thomas Sewid, a member of the group, says First Nations communities should be allowed to harvest more sea lions. He adds the meat can be eaten and the blubber can be used in nutritional supplements.

Campbell River Whale Watching owner Nick Templeman, who opposes the idea, says there’s little proof sea lions harm the local fishing industry and believes killer whales will naturally cull the sea lion population.

CTV Vancouver Island reached out to Department of Fisheries and Oceans for comment on the idea, but they did not respond before broadcast time.

With files from CTV Vancouver Island