Tired of waiting for feds, advocates take own path to protect orcas

Raincoast says its time to draft our own action plan for killer whale recovery

Three orcas swim from right to left.

Amy Smart / Times Colonist

April 5, 2014

A group of orca advocates is making its own plans to protect endangered killer whales, saying a federal action plan is overdue.

The group celebrated news of four calves born to the southern resident killer whales since December. But with a 50 per cent mortality rate and a slew of other threats to their survival, members say it’s time to get serious about protecting the species, which was declared endangered 12 years ago.

“What we really need is a comprehensive plan,” said Misty MacDuffee, a biologist with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

“We’re not expecting what’s necessary to come from [Fisheries and Oceans Canada].”

For years, the federal department has been working with outside scientists and conservationists to put together an action plan, but no date has been set for its implementation. As the first federal action plan protecting an endangered marine species, it’s expected to set a precedent for the way endangered species are treated.

Based on a draft of the plan published last year, some critics say it lacks substantive action…

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