Save the whales, contact the federal government
Southern Residents killer whales are slowly going extinct under status quo conditions. While measures put in place in 2019 were important first steps to reduce noise, disturbance and pollution, more Chinook salmon need to reach the feeding grounds of these whales.
Contact the federal Ministers responsible for recovery and tell them to protect Southern Resident killer whales. Contact information is below.
Here are some important issues to mention
#1 Improve Chinook abundance in the feeding grounds of Southern Resident killer whales
- Reduce marine harvest to 5% mortality on south migrating Chinook salmon (from the North coast to the South coast) to improve Chinook abundance in killer whale feeding grounds
- No exapnsion of Chinook hatcheries and ocean ranching net pens, which undermine recovery of wild Chinook.
#2 Reduce physical and acoustic disturbance from domestic vessels
- Continue the 400 m mandatory distance requirement for all vessels to stay from killer whales, including no directed whale watching on Southern Residents.
- Mandatory slow down to 7 knots within 1 km of a killer whale,
- Establish vessel quieting targets for Canadian commercial vessels including ferry services that regularly transit Southern Resident killer whale critical habitat.
#3 Implement protected areas from salmon fishing and vessels, specifically
- Implement full extent of foraging areas in the Juan de Fuca, Southern Gulf Islands and Fraser approaches that are free from salmon fishing (shown on Map 1).
- Continue to implement killer whale sanctuaries (vessel traffic no-go zones) for Pender Island, Saturna Island and Swiftsure Bank (shown on Map 1).
#4 Reduce physical and acoustic disturbance from international shipping traffic
- A measurable 3 decibel reduction in noise levels in SRKW foraging areas in 2019.
- No approvals for projects that would increase shipping in critical habitat (such as Terminal 2, Trans Mountain, and LNG initiatives) until a Strategic Environmental Assessment is completed that considers the cumulative effects of noise and shipping on marine life in the Salish Sea.
#5 Enforcement of these measures
- On-the-water enforcement of the distance regulations, fishing closures, and no-go zones enforced by Conservation & Protection (C&P) officers.
- Support for First Nation guardian programs and organizations like Straitwatch to monitor vessel activities around whales.
Map 1: Critical habitat, key foraging areas and sanctuaries
Who to write:
Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
- Hill Office Telephone: 613-995-1225 Fax:613-992-7319
- Constituency Office: 129 Aberdeen Road, Suite 106 Bridgewater, NS B4V 2S7
- Telephone: 604-775-6333 Fax:604-775-6332
Honourable Johnathon Wilkison, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
- Hill Office Telephone: 613-996-5322 Fax:613-996-5323
- Constituency Office: 102 – 3rd Street West, North Vancouver, BC V7M 1E8
- Telephone: 613-946-8682 Fax: 613-946-8680
Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport
- Hill Office Telephone:613-996-7267 Fax:613-995-8632
- Constituency Office: 4060 Sainte-Catherine Street W., Suite 340 Westmount, QC H3Z 2Z3
- Telephone: 514-283-2013 Fax:514-283-9790