Press release: October 25, 2013
Victoria, BC ‐ Raincoast Conservation Foundation is hoping that members of parliament will support Randall Garrison’s motion to save southern resident killer whales. The MP introduced a private members bill Thursday October 24 in the House of Commons calling for an Action Plan.
“There is ample evidence that killer whales are threatened by human activities. We have known this for almost a decade. We have filed lawsuits, we have won in the courts, and yet there has been no response by Canada’s federal government to implement a long overdue action plan,” said Misty MacDuffee, a biologist with Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
Garrison’s motion proposes action on key areas of concern for killer whales: food supply,ocean pollution, and noise. Garrison’s motion also calls for re‐instating the funding for monitoring and research.
Food supply ‐ specifically Chinook abundance ‐ is highly correlated with the mortality, birth rate and survival of these killer whales. Declining Chinook stocks are paramount in the endangered status of these resident whales.
The absence of the southern residents in the Salish Sea this past summer coincides with a dramatic decline in Chinook. 50% of the Fraser River Watershed’s Chinook populations meet criteria for listing as threatened or endangered under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. Chinook populations are at historic lows and need to be rebuilt to their historic abundance and throughout their range. Garrison’s motion identifies this as a necessary piece in the action plan.
“We have two endangered species that are integrally linked, and our federal government is showing no leadership on the management of either. Now is their opportunity to act,” said MacDuffee.
For more information contact:
Misty MacDuffee, Raincoast Conservation Foundation