Feds failing to protect killer whale habitat, court rules

By Jeff Nagel – BC Local News
Published: December 07, 2010

The coalition led by Ecojustice successfully argued in Federal Court that the DFO has failed to adequately protect the whales’ habitat, as required by the Species At Risk Act.

Exactly what the ruling will mean on the ground is unclear.

But advocates hope it will strengthen the case for new orca-friendly restrictions on everything from oil tanker traffic and whale watching tours to measures to accelerate sewage treatment upgrades and even reserve a share of salmon runs for the whales.

“The abundance of salmon, chemical pollution and physical and acoustic disturbance have all been identified as key threats to the critical habitat of resident killer whales,” said Misty MacDuffee of Raincoast Conservation.

“The court has confirmed that DFO is legally required to protect these features. Considering the whales in fishing plans is a first step toward this implementation.”

The area defined as critical habitat for southern resident killer whales covers much of the Strait of Georgia off the Lower Mainland, running through the Gulf Islands and up the east coast of Vancouver Island.

To celebrate the end of the year, we are so happy to be able to offer matching campaigns on two of our most pressing fundraising initiatives.

All donations to both the Southern Great Bear Rainforest tenure acquisition and our KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest initiative, will be matched until the end of the year. This is a great opportunity for our supporters, like you, to make your impact go twice as far, while benefiting from tax deductions.

Help us secure KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest on S,DÁYES (Pender Island). Together with Pender Islands Conservancy, Raincoast is raising $2.18 million to purchase a 45 acre coastal property on the edge of the Salish Sea.

Safeguarding Coastal Carnivores in the Southern Great Bear Rainforest tenure. We are currently raising funds to stop commercial trophy hunting in more than a quarter of the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia.