The world has watched Southern Resident killer whale Tahlequah (J35) carry her dead calf, her child, for over two weeks. It’s a visible grief. At the same time, another young whale, J50, appears to be starving. Politicians can no longer avert their eyes, or their attention, and neither can we.
We have been working with partners to compel emergency action from the federal government since February 2018 and, given the dire situation that has unfolded over the last few weeks, we are now asking that they go further than the measures we have previously called for.
The Southern Resident killer whale population needs your voice to demand that the new federal Fisheries Minister, Jonathan Wilkinson, issue an emergency order that also includes the following actions:
- Immediate closure of marine recreational and marine commercial Chinook fisheries 1.
- Suspension of all commercial and recreational whale watching targeting the Southern Residents.
- Active enforcement of these measures.
The Canadian government has the legal tools to act; similar actions restricting fisheries and whale watching are also needed on the U.S. side of the border. While we grieve the loss of yet another Southern Resident, we must also do all we can to ensure the remaining whales have the best possible chance of survival. This emergency is all too apparent.
For the whales and the salmon.
- Many of these salmon stocks are also endangered and should not be subject to continued fishing pressure. Closing marine fisheries will allow weak populations to reach their spawning grounds and rebuild. Modelled analysis by DFO has shown that closing Chinook fisheries can improve the growth rates of SRKWs. Chinook are the primary prey of Southern Resident killer whales. ↩
- See our original petition for an emergency order. ↩
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For 25 years, Raincoast has been furthering biodiversity conservation in BC. Thanks to your generous donations, among many other accomplishments, we have been able to end commercial trophy hunting of large carnivores in over 38,000 square kilometers of the Great Bear Rainforest, begin acquiring forest land in order to protect threatened Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems, aid recovery of endangered Southern Resident killer whales by restoring Chinook salmon habitat, and establish a university research lab dedicated to applied conservation science. Strong partnerships are integral to our success.
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