Dear Safe Shippers and Orca Protectors,
Our beloved and endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKWs) suffered another loss this week. The world heard the news of J35’s deceased calf and sent back words of alarm and sympathy to us here in the Salish Sea. We mourn together. Let’s take action together.
In 2005, our Southern Resident orcas numbered 88 when they were listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. Today, they are down to just 75 whales — the lowest number in 30 years. They need all of our help, and they need it now!
WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY TO HELP THE ORCA:
The Salish Sea includes the core summer foraging area for our SRKWs where 1,500 salmon are required each day to sustain their population (at least 80% of the SRKWs’ diet consists of Chinook salmon). That means the orca need at least 500,000 salmon a year if the population is to grow*.
Tell the Pacific Salmon Commission to allocate 500,000 Chinook salmon – from all west coast rivers – for the endangered SRKWs.
Email the Pacific Salmon Commission: email@example.com and copy the Pacific Fishery Management Council: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Governor Inslee established the Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery and Task Force to determine the significant and immediate actions needed to protect and recover the SRKWs.
Contact Governor Inslee and your state senators and representatives and tell them to:
* Give SRKWs their fair share of the salmon — follow Canada’s lead and take immediate action to increase prey availability and conserve Chinook salmon.
* Reduce vessel noise — give SRKWs the protection they need to communicate and hunt for the scarce Chinook salmon.
* Protect our shorelines — healthy shorelines, eelgrass, and spawning beaches are needed for the forage fish that Chinook salmon depend on.
Contact Governor Inslee: https://governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message,
or call: 360-902-4111.
Find and contact your Washington State representatives: http://app.leg.wa.gov/MemberEmail
Send comments directly to the SRKW Task Force:
Friends of the San Juans advocates for quieter seas, shoreline protection, and more food for SRKWs.
Help Friends help the orcas through their participation in the SRKW Recovery and Task Force through the Vessels Working Group.
Donate to the Friends (you may designate “Orca Protection Fund”): https://sanjuans.z2systems.com/np/clients/sanjuans/donation.jsp
Our resident orcas are in trouble and we must all join together and change our behaviors in order to protect them and restore their population and the health of the entire Salish Sea ecosystem.
Thank you, Safe Shippers, for caring and for using your voice in support of J35 and her beautiful extended family of orcas.
The Seattle Times: Orca whale continues grieving ritual a sixth day
The New York Times: Grieving Orca Carries Dead Calf for More Than 3 Days: ‘She’s Just Not Letting Go.’
The Guardian: Grieving orca mother carries dead calf for days as killer whales fight for survival.
Friends of the San Juans: Orcas need Healthy Shorelines
*Center for Whale Research: Chinook: Orca Survival.
Governor Inslee’s Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery and Task Force
Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Canada: Government of Canada takes action to protect Southern Resident Killer Whales.