Chris Dunagan at Watching Our Water Ways blogs: “As chum salmon swim back to their home streams in Puget Sound this fall, three killer whale pods — the Southern Residents — can be expected to follow, making their way south along the eastern shoreline of the Kitsap Peninsula. These forays into Central and South Puget Sound could begin any day now and continue until the chum runs decline in November or December. The Southern Residents, which typically hang out in the San Juan Islands in summer, have not been spotted for several days, so they are likely somewhere in the ocean at the moment, according to Howard Garrett of Orca Network. (Kitsap Sun)
Setting up for a showdown with the military over protecting the Orca?
NOAA Fisheries is weighing whether to protect endangered orcas in the waters off the West Coast. The federal agency said Thursday it would consider a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity seeking to expand the critical habitat for southern resident killer whales. NOAA has already designated inland waters of Washington as critical to orca conservation, but the group’s petition says offshore areas from Cape Flattery, Wash., to Point Reyes, Calif., should now be added as critical habitat. Such a designation would require federal officials to limit activities that harm the whales.
(Associated Press) See also: Fate of orcas? Depends on fish—and lately, both have been scarce http://www.sanjuanjournal.com/news/256441941.html (San Juan Journal)
Mike Sato hits it right on the head. It’s time for Govenor Inslee to show us what this bureaucracy is doing, and if he’s really behind it or not. Getting it a leader that can actually lead would be a great start. No one would likely cry for it if they kill it and reconstitute it anew. It’s become a behind the scenes player in Olympia and virtually unknown outside of the Capital. A real shame, frankly. We had high hopes for it, but environmentalism appears to be joke and a pawn in the power politics in Olympia. Use it to garner votes, then ignore it for 2 to 4 years. Maybe when we are down to one Orca they’ll actually get serious.
Chris Dunagan was able to catch up with 8 Orcas near Bremerton yesterday.
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Thanks to Jules for sharing this with us. An amazing film of orcas hunting dolphins at Hyacinthe Bay BC (north of Nanaimo). And thanks to Grind TV for getting it up online!
We regularly rail against the growing militarization of the Sound and Hood Canal. We are being turned into advanced Naval training area with no oversight of the effects that Navy is having, and no voice in what they do. Now Canada is getting on board the call for a moratorium.
Speculation is growing over what caused the death of a young resident killer whale and conservation organizations want the Royal Canadian Navy to stop holding military training exercises in the whales’ critical habitat. David Suzuki Foundation, Georgia Strait Alliance, Greenpeace, Living Oceans, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Sierra Club B.C., Western Canada Wilderness Committee and the World Wildlife Fund want an end to military exercises in the area and a release of all information about activities in the area that might have contributed to Sooke’s death.