Thursday, February 3, 2011

Canadian and US Agencies to Approach Orca Recovery Through Chinook Connection

Islanders are well aware of the importance of chinook salmon to the health and life of our Southern Resident Orca whales, but it's good to hear that others are equally aware and considering steps to further help the orcas. Kim Secunda, Orcas Beach Watcher, forwarded the following announcement to the newsletter today from :

"Today NOAA Fisheries announced that it will work with the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans to convene a multi-session science workshop on killer whale recovery. This action follows completion of a preliminary analysis of the relationship between abundance of Chinook salmon and the well-being of Puget Sound killer whales. Information in the analysis shows that killer whales depend to a large degree on adult Chinook salmon as a high-calorie food source and that killer whale productivity is affected by Chinook abundance. At the conclusion of the workshops, both agencies will be better able to determine whether and to what extent additional constraints on salmon fishing may be necessary. Because of the extensive range of Southern Resident killer whales, fisheries from California to Southeast Alaska may be affected. See the Fisheries Northwest Region Website at for more information."

As with any regulatory change, it will be important that all aspects of the question be carefully considered. Input from well-informed citizens will presumably be welcome in that process! Check out the website for more information.

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