“Our orcas are in trouble – will you join us in asking for more action to protect them?
In 2001, southern resident killer whales were declared endangered under Canada’s new Species at Risk Act. After years of feet dragging on the release of the recovery strategy, in 2010 we won a legal decision that stated that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) had failed to adequately protect critical habitat of B.C.’s resident killer whales. The meant that on paper at least, we would have stronger legal protection for all of Canada’s marine endangered species.
After 2 more years of fighting us in court and further delays, the government released a draft action plan that would lay out how the major threats to the orcas – declining salmon stocks, physical and acoustic disturbance and toxic contamination – would be addressed. Sadly, it was an ‘actionless’ plan, relying mostly on research and monitoring as means to make change. Both are incredibly important but woefully inadequate to make the urgent changes this species needs.
In June 2016, an updated draft action plan was released. Though improved in some areas, the lack of immediate action and clear accountability around who is in charge is still missing – and if implemented as is, the slow decline of this species is unlikely to change.
The comment period on this plan is now open and you have until August 14th to let the government know what you think of their plan to protect our 84 southern resident killer whales.
Using the form below, please send a letter to the Ministry of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard asking them for the following changes to the plan, before it’s too late for our killer whales. Please feel free to add your own thoughts, ideas and comments to make the letter your own.” – Georgia Strait Alliance