Canadian federal government announced that it refuses to issue an emergency order to protect endangered killer whales

Last week the Canadian federal government announced that it refuses to issue an emergency order to protect endangered killer whales under the Species at Risk Act, despite the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans’ recommendation to do so.

@raincoastconservation and our partners, @davidsuzukifdn, @georgiastraitbc, @nrdc_org, and @wwfcanada are pleased that the ministers recommended issuing an emergency order yet deeply disappointed that Cabinet rejected what we believe to be the best tool to recover these whales. With only 74 remaining, the Southern Residents are in crisis.

As we consider next legal steps with our lawyers @ecojustice we continue to call for enforceable protection measures that:

  1. Designate additional areas of protected critical habitat on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
  2. Create feeding refuges where commercial and recreational salmon fishing, and whale watching on Southern Resident killer whales are prohibited.
  3. Close marine commercial and recreational Chinook fisheries that catch Chinook from Southern B.C. and other stocks known to be important to the diets of southern residents.
  4. Restrict commercial and private recreational whale-watching on Southern Resident killer whales in Critical Habitat from May 1 through Nov. 30.
  5. Set mandatory targets to reduce noise and disturbance from commercial vessels traveling in critical habitat and take steps to quantifiably reduce the cumulative levels of noise and disturbance from all marine traffic.

We have not given up on these whales, or our ability to change.

📷: J50 near San Juan Island, WA, in Sept. 2018. Photo by Katy Foster/NOAA Fisheries, under permit 18786-03.

rmsteckphotographyHopefully they will put those measures in place. 🤞
scottyeverett@justinpjtrudeau Don’t end up on the wrong side of history. This is happening on your watch.
mr.quayleso emaciated :( critical measures, especially number 2… not just for feeding but also rest… need to give these animals respect.🙏💜
smallwonderstoI’m rarely embarrassed to be a Canadian, but this is one of those times. Boo Canada.
jackjeplantWould it make sense to start a pledge? Or is there already one to be signed ?
pammygowThank you for your leadership!
sarahhammondstudio@katpinoceramics today’s news too. Another one for you to check out ☝🏻
chefbrucemathewsThe Species at Risk Act conflicts with the exploitation of the Biosphere!
rachellepoitrasThis is horrible. Is there something we can sign? I’m deeply saddened by this lack of action.
marinadelmar@justinpjtrudeau @govinslee you could both be heroes and be true to your mandate, democracy is listening to the will of the people and the absolute majority of citizens of the #SalishSea want and demand our Southern resident Orcas to be healthy and not starving to death due to both of your negligence and lack of political will!! Please remove those damns and use an ecosystem approach! The time is now, we are tired of waiting Sirs!!!! 🙄🙏🏼🌎🦋 @CBC vancouver @seattletimes @washingtonpost @cbcnews @king5seattle @pnwprotectors @sealegacy

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