A killer whale emergency

Video: only 76 of the Southern Resident killer whales remain.

The Southern Resident killer whales were recognized as endangered under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2002. Despite this, and understanding why they’re endangered, the Federal Government has taken no action to date to reduce their threats.  After a suite of deaths in recent years and no successful calves since 2015, only 76 Southern Resident killer whales remain.

We are requesting an emergency order under SARA that outlines specific actions around two primary objectives:

  1. Increase the abundance of Chinook Salmon, (the Southern Residents’ primary food), through a suite of measures that include restricting the harvest of Chinook.
  2. Limit the noise and disturbance from boats that interferes with their ability to hunt salmon and communicate, especially within identified feeding refuges.

Please help us compel the government to act.



For more information on Raincoast’s work to protect these whales click here.


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Raincoast’s in-house scientists, collaborating graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and professors make us unique among conservation groups. We work with First Nations, academic institutions, government, and other NGOs to build support and inform decisions that protect aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and the wildlife that depend on them. We conduct ethically applied, process-oriented, and hypothesis-driven research that has immediate and relevant utility for conservation deliberations and the collective body of scientific knowledge.

We investigate to understand coastal species and processes. We inform by bringing science to decision-makers and communities. We inspire action to protect wildlife and wildlife habitats.

Coastal wolf with a salmon in its month.
Photo by Dene Rossouw.