Approve life-saving measures for Southern Resident Orcas who now face imminent extinction

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OUR SOUTHERN RESIDENT ORCAS NEED OUR HELP!

The 75 remaining wild critically endangered salmon-eating Southern Resident Orcas are dying from starvation. With an effective breeding population less than 30, these Orcas are near the point of no recovery. Southern Resident Orcas are now on the brink of extinction.

Give the Orcas a fighting chance to recover by increasing their food supply!

You may have heard of the plight of the Southern Resident Orcas found along the coasts of British Columbia and the State of Washington and are hoping you might help. You can.

July 24th, a baby Orca calf was born near Victoria, British Columbia. This is the first Orca calf to be born in 3 years! Her mother, Tahlequah (J35) and her pod rejoiced with joy. The new-born was seen alive and swimming with its mother and the other members of its pod near Clover Point on the Victoria shoreline in the mid-morning. Only hours later, the new-born calf died, emaciated for lack of blubber.

Tahlequah lovingly nurtured her calf in her body for 17 hopeful months while the pod protected and fed her. They now grieve their hope for the future. Tahlequah has been mourning the loss of her baby for 10 days now. This has never happened before. She carries the dead rotting carcass of her child on her back and swims above the water in a tour of grief, unwilling to let go. J35 is a mother in pain for the loss of her child and soon, possibly, her entire clan. She is emaciated and starving herself. Yet she continues to mourn and maintain her vigil, perhaps in order to draw our attention to her plight and to save her Southern Resident Orca family.

Tahlequah’s tour of grief calls on all of us to help! 

Her action is a miracle. Her cry for help, unprecedented, and we must respond. The Orcas have almost no food supply left. Their diet is almost entirely Chinook salmon. But we love salmon too and our increasing appetite for the oily fish is encroaching on these beautiful intelligent Orcas who now battle extinction. Over-fishing, poorly run salmon-farms, tanker oil spills, ocean noise pollution and dams that prevent salmon from swimming up river where they mate and spawn baby salmon are some of the problems that threaten the Orca food supply.

There are only 75 left. Recent deaths, particularly among calves, mothers and pregnant whales, appear to be driven by food scarcity, according to the Center for Whale Research.

The Chinook salmon, their primary food source, is nearly depleted. These Orcas are now starving. We know what needs to be done to save these incredible creatures. We need to work together and act fast! 

The 2017 Southern Resident Killer Whale Symposium saw more than 200 delegates take part in technical sessions and networking panels, which covered all recent science, discussed potential solutions, and outlined each group’s responsibilities for protecting the southern resident killer whales. The symposium recommended that we immediately close sport and commercial fishing in critical Southern Resident foraging areas. Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) also held a workshop to discuss the availability of prey and prey requirements for the Southern Resident killer whales. The conclusion: With fewer than 30 reproductively capable females, there is no possibility of increasing the effective population in the next decade. Orcas are on track for extinction. Simply put, the whales require food (mostly Chinook salmon) to survive and reproduce, and humans are not managing to allow them enough for a great variety of reasons.

PLEASE ASK THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA TO PLACE AN IMMEDIATE MORATORIUM ON ALL CHINOOK FISHING, COMMERCIAL AND RECREATIONAL, AND TO ADOPT ECO-BASED MEASURES TO SAVE SOUTHERN RESIDENT ORCAS FROM PERMANENT EXTINCTION.

To The Honourable Member of Parliament, Elizabeth May: 

Southern Resident Orcas are critically endangered and bold actions are needed to address the three primary threats limiting their recovery: a lack of prey (Chinook salmon), vessel noise, and pollution. We urge the Government of Canada to quickly develop meaningful policy and programme recommendations that will help recover Southern Resident Orcas.

To prevent the extinction of this unique Orca population, it is imperative that the people of Canada through our governments take immediate emergency action to:

1. IMPOSE AN IMMEDIATE MORATORIUM ON ALL CHINOOK SALMON FISHING, COMMERCIAL AND RECREATIONAL

2. IMMEDIATELY INVESTIGATE ALL FISH FARMING FACILITIES AND SHUT DOWN ALL FISH FARMS CONTAMINATED WITH BACTERIA, LICE OR OTHER DISEASE THAT THREATENS THE SURVIVAL OF WILD SALMON STOCK

3. ADOPT ECO-BASED MEASURES TO SAVE SOUTHERN RESIDENT ORCAS FROM PERMANENT EXTINCTION

Canada a place where whalesong is as ancient as the mist, as deep as the shifting of rock beneath, as needed as the sweet air. Tahlequah's tale is beyond heart breaking. We must hear the call of the whales. The fish are dying. The food is dying. Without our help, these Orcas are now predicted to become extinct in 5 years. We must act now to save the Orcas.

Sincerely,



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