Provide input on potential 2020 management measures to address key threats to Southern Resident Killer Whales
Current status: Closed
This consultation ran from March 9, 2020 to March 23, 2020.
We asked for feedback on potential management measures for 2020 to address key threats to Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW). We implemented a similar suite of measures in 2019 but are proposing small changes for this year based on feedback received and lessons learned in 2019.
Who is the focus of this consultation
The Government of Canada, represented by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Transport Canada (TC) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), was looking for comments from:
- Indigenous groups
- the Canadian public
Southern Resident Killer Whales were listed as Endangered under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2003. Southern Resident Killer Whales are an iconic species, and supporting their recovery is a key priority for the Government of Canada. Southern Resident Killer Whales face three primary threats to recovery: reduced prey availability (primarily Chinook salmon), contaminants, and physical and acoustic disturbance.
In 2019, the Government of Canada implemented a suite of measures to protect and further support the recovery of Southern Resident Killer Whales, including:
- implemented area-based fishing closures to increase Chinook salmon availability in Southern Resident Killer Whale foraging areas
- increased vessel approach distances for killer whales
- implemented Interim Sanctuary Zones
- voluntary fishing avoidance zone measures (cease fishing within 1000m of killer whales)
- voluntary vessel measures to minimize disturbance in the presence of killer whales
We anticipate taking a similar approach in 2020, while making small modifications to the measures described above based on feedback received and lessons learned in 2019.
The Government of Canada continues to support the recovery of Southern Resident Killer Whales. In addition to the 2020 management measures, the Government of Canada is advancing longer-term actions that address the primary threats to the protection and recovery of this population, including reduced prey availability, contaminants, and physical and acoustic disturbance.
- Past consultation: Comment on proposed 2019 measures to address key threats to Southern Resident Killer Whale
- Minister's announcement on additional measures: Government of Canada taking further action to protect Southern Resident Killer Whales
- SRKW imminent threat opinion:
- Resident Killer Whale recovery documents on SARA public registry:
If you represent an Indigenous community and would like to request a bilateral meeting with any or all of the three federal departments, please contact Evan Jones, Transport Canada.
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