Equal Laws to Protect West Coast Endangered Orcas!
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Canada’s proposed Federal Marine Mammals Regulations fails to protect endangered orcas and others. While it recognizes the need to protect the 800 endangered St. Lawrence River belugas by increasing boat distances it maintains the inadequate 100 meter distance between vessels and orcas on the West Coast.
The US government improved their orca protection by increasing the allowable distances to up to 400 meters.
For example, the Southern Resident Killer Whales only has approximately 80 orcas in their threatened population. They are transboundary species who travel in waters of both Canada and the US. The laws must be consistent in both countries.
The three major risks to the survival of orcas is boat traffic, lack of food, and pollution. Boat traffic interrupts foraging and lifestyles. It can also cause severe to fatal injuries.
Urge the Government of Canada to increase the boat traffic from the meager 100 meters to the 200 meter and 400 meter distances as provided for in the US. Endangered species need equal, legal protection in both countries – not just volunteer “guidelines”!
The Canadian review started in 2002 and has been repeatedly delayed. Pre-publication in Canada Gazette, Part I for a 60 day public comment period occurred on March 24, 2012. Read the proposed rules re: Whale Watching at: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/acts-lois/rules-reglements/rule-reglement05-eng.htm
Final publication of the proposed amendments in Canada Gazette, Part II, is anticipated to occur during the 2015-2017 planning period. As stated these proposed amendments fails to protect endangered orcas and others.
Please sign the Lifeforce Ocean Friends’ petition Equal Laws to Protect West Coast Endangered Orcas!
This will help strengthen the Canadian Marine Mammal Guidelines by mandating greater boat distances, limits of 30 minutes for viewing, and habitat protection.
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