Lawsuit Stayed As Southern Resident Killer Whale Population Drops SEATTLE― A lawsuit challenging West Coast salmon fishing’s impact on critically endangered orcas was put on hold today after the Trump administration agreed to update its analysis. A federal judge approved the settlement and stayed the case until May 1, 2020, or sooner if the National Marine Fisheries Service completes the new biological opinion that will include mitigation measures. The order
NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) will soon begin seasonal summer patrols in Haro Strait around Washington’s San Juan Islands. Officers will be enforcing special Federal regulations designed to protect endangered Southern Resident killer whales by keeping boat traffic at a safe distance from the whales. This is the sixth year implementing NOAA Fisheries’ regulations that require whale watching vessels and most other vessels to remain at least 200 yards
Closer to home than the thousands of world leaders in Paris to discuss how to limit the scale of human-caused global warming, the consequences of climate change underway around Puget Sound have been detailed in an in-depth scientific study. The report, issued in November [https://cig.uw.edu/resources/special-reports/ps-sok/] by the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group, found projections in a 2005 study on potential warming effects have come to pass, its authors said.
From Crosscut: “The orca iconography in Puget Sound tourist gift shops borders on sappy, but for those lucky enough to have seen an orca in the flesh, the love of these whales is not so hard to understand. Yet the whale tourism industry may also come with a darker side: Are we literally loving the Southern Resident killer whales to death?” Read the complete article
From MyNorthwest.com: Activists are calling for a limited, whale protection zone off San Juan Island to help the declining local population of endangered orcas. The protection zone could include a no-wake speed limit to cut noise and discourage whale watching boats that sometimes pursue orcas. “They need more chance to rest and to socialize in a quieter environment,” said Bruce Stedman, executive director of Orca Relief Citizens Alliance. “But particularly,