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Input on recovery of Southern Resident killer whale potential management measures for 2023

Current status: Open

Opened on January 19, 2023, and will close to new input on February 19, 2023

Southern Resident killer whales are identified as Endangered under the Species at Risk Act. As of January 2023, only 73 individuals remain, and supporting their recovery is a key priority for the Government of Canada. We’re looking for feedback on potential 2023 management measures to help the recovery of this iconic Pacific species.

Management measures are intended to address key threats to the recovery of this population related to reduced availability of food and increased noise and disturbance in their habitat. We need your feedback to help us refine the potential measures and to help us understand potential implications of potential management approaches.

In addition to the 2023 management measures, we are also advancing longer-term actions that address the primary threats to the population, including reduced availability of food, contaminants, and disturbance in their environment.

Since 2019, the Government of Canada has implemented a suite of measures each year to protect and further support the recovery of Southern Resident killer whales, including:

These measures are informed by the best available information and science as well as advice from Indigenous groups, the Indigenous Multi-Nation group, the Indigenous and Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Group (IMAG), the Southern Resident killer whale Technical Working Groups (TWGs), and stakeholders. Additionally, the Government of Canada partners with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program to inform the development of measures for Large Commercial Vessels, including slowdowns and a lateral displacement of vessels.

The information and advice received from these forums, lessons learned from previous years’ measures, recovery efforts underway in the US, science information, and other Government of Canada processes (such as the southern BC salmon Integrated Fisheries Management Plan process) are all used to help inform development of annual management measures.

How to participate

Complete the online survey

Who was the focus of this survey

The Government of Canada, represented by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Transport Canada (TC) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), is seeking input from:

Key questions for discussion

Your ideas and input are sought around potential 2023 Southern Resident killer whale recovery management measures within the Southern Resident killer whale Critical Habitat. This includes the key areas of the Juan de Fuca Strait, Swiftsure Bank, the Gulf Islands, and at the mouth of the Fraser River.

Related information

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