Tag «orca»

Proposed Expansion of Killer Whale “Critical Habitat”

Recent amendments to the Recovery Strategy for the Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) in Canada 2018 (proposed)  expand the area to be included as critical habitat. Under the recovery strategy action plan, this area will be subject to measures that respond to perceived threats to killer whale survival. The threat of “Reduced prey availability” identifies “Fishing for Chinook Salmon, Chum Salmon, and other important prey species” and “Other activities that are detrimental to habitat and survival of prey (e.g. fishing for forage fish species)” as activities likely to result in the destruction of critical habitat. The images here are from the above linked document, and show the areas proposed.

Proposed NRKW critical habitat:

Proposed NRKW critical habitat

Proposed SRKW critical habitat:

Proposed SRKW critical habitat

DFO to close fishing west of Otter Point – SVIAC asks you to write or phone Minister LeBlanc

Christopher Bos, President of the South Vancouver Island Anglers Coalition, writes:

SVIAC have just learned that DFO’s proposed sport fishing closure for SRKWs in Juan de Fuca Strait will have boundaries between Otter Point in Sooke and East Point in Port Renfrew and is set to be a “no Fin Fish Fishing” zoneThe closure will start on June 1st and run through to September 30th. The SFAB asked for Fossil Point just west of Point-No-Point and no salmon fishing for the closed area. Closing the fin fish fishing west of Otter this summer is a terrible idea, will not save a single Southern Resident Orca and, as anglers, we must all let DFO know how seriously bad this decision will be for the community of Sooke.

Today several members of the SFAB met with DFO staff to discuss the soon to be announced SRKW Actions outlined in DFO Minister LeBlanc’s press release (see below).  We made a plea that the SFAB proposal be honoured.  However, it seems clear that the SFAB proposed closure boundaries reached after thorough consultation with many local anglers has been ignored by the Minister.  A real slap in the face to the respected SFAB process.

An SFI and SVIAC talking points and letter writing information document is attached [ed. – see below] – it includes names, email addresses and phone numbers 

So before the formal fishery notice is released YOU MUST ACT IMMEDIATELY to protect your fishing opportunities!  Wednesday is likely too late

NOTE – Please share this with any anglers who you think will write or phone.

Thank you sincerely for your help and support

SRKW Writing Points SFI&SVIAC-1

Washington state bills to help SRKWs

An Associated Press article published here and here reveals the effort being made in Washington state to deal with the threats to southern resident killer whales (SRKW).

One House bill sets aside $1.5 million to produce 10 million more hatchery chinook salmon, a roughly 20 percent boost over current production, so orcas will have more to eat.

“Using smart hatchery production we can still support rebuilding wild fish runs and have hatchery production,” said Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, prime sponsor of House Bill 2417, which unanimously cleared a policy committee and awaits action in a fiscal committee.

State Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, has proposed a package of bills aimed at protecting orcas and the waters they swim in. Senate Bill 6268 would essentially double to 100 the number of days state wildlife officers are on the water to keep boats a safe distance from orcas. This bill would also convene a meeting between experts in British Columbia and Washington to discuss strategies to help the orcas.

Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed supplemental budget devotes $3 million to helping the whales by increasing enforcement of boat regulations, increasing production of chinook salmon at hatcheries and improving habitat. Inslee is also expected to create a killer whale task force.

In Canada, recent years have seen DFO reduce the funding and stop the permitting of attempts by volunteers to enhance chinook production in the southern Vancouver Island area, presumably in support of a wild fish policy. Yet, somehow, Washington state legislators feel they can have both wild fish and enhanced chinook production.


SRKW Famine Connected to Puget Sound’s Poisoned Rivers

A recent article in Focus Magazine points to the connection between secondary sewage treatment effluent poisoning the rivers that flow into Puget Sound, reduced chinook salmon survival, and famine for southern resident killer whales. The article is worth a read.

RIVERS RUNNING INTO PUGET SOUND have perennially low returns of chinook salmon—currently estimated at just 10 percent of their historic levels—even though many of them are enhanced with hatcheries. Last year, scientific research connected this decline to secondary sewage treatment plants discharging partially-treated effluent into Puget Sound.

Having learned of the pollutants’ effects in Puget Sound river estuaries, Washington state has taken action to point to Victoria’s discharge of raw sewage, and to talk about – but not fund – further research.