Tagging plan threatens southern resident orcas

Island Tides

February 23, 2012

Commentary by Misty MacDuffee and Chris Genovali

A plan to tag endangered southern resident killer whales that ply both sides of the international border between British Columbia and Washington state is meeting with growing opposition, now on the Canadian side of the border.

Despite efforts between Canada and the United States to develop a coordinated strategy for the recovery of these endangered whales, a unilateral decision was made by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to attach satellite tags to the bodies of resident killer whales.

Raincoast Conservation Foundation contends that the nominal information that might be generated from deploying these tags to the fins of endangered killer whales simply does not justify the risk of serious injury resulting from the tags.

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