Presentation: Update on recovery measures for Southern Resident Killer Whale; Overview of potential measures for 2019

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Presentation: Update on recovery measures for Southern Resident Killer Whale; Overview of potential measures for 2019

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Background: Status of Southern Resident Killer Whale

Background: Southern Resident Killer Whale recovery actions to date

Work-to-date and timeline for 2019

Technical working groups (TWGs)

Technical working group mandates and objectives

Technical working group mandates and objectives
Technical working group Mandate and objectives
Prey availability
  • Review measures implemented in 2018, identify potential measures for 2019
  • Identify measures to rebuild wild Chinook stocks, in line with Wild Salmon Policy
Sanctuaries
  • Advance feasibility of Southern Resident Killer Whale sanctuaries within critical habitat
Commercial vessel noise
  • Review effectiveness of 2018 measures and identify potential measures for 2019 season
  • Identify infrastructure needed to support measures
General vessel noise
  • Identify noise reduction targets, options for quiet-vessel design, and other actions for noise reduction
  • Identify measures to reduce noise of commercial whale watching and recreational vessels
Contaminants
  • Identify priority contaminants and identify/evaluate contribution of point and nonpoint sources of contaminant loadings to the Southern Resident Killer Whale, their habitat and their prey
  • Develop recommendations for additional measures to address contaminants affecting the Southern Resident Killer Whale, their habitat and their prey

Summary of potential 2019 measures identified by Technical Working Groups

Summary of potential 2019 measures identified by Technical Working Group s
Theme Potential measures
Large commercial vessels
  • Consideration of expanded slowdown area
  • Possible continuation of lateral displacement in Strait of Juan de Fuca
General vessel measures
  • Encourage turning off echo sounders when not in use
  • 1000 m go-slow (7 knots or less) buffer
  • Leave engine off/neutral idle within Killer Whale approach distance
  • Increase approach distance to 400 m around Southern Resident Killer Whales
  • Impose 650 m approach/suspend viewing for Southern Resident Killer Whale for next 3 years – since dropped from WA State bill
Prey
  • Area-based seasonal fishery closures
  • Mobile (“bubble”) closures / fishery avoidance zone (e.g. 1km)
  • Adaptive management options (pre-season/in-season management triggers)
Sanctuary
  • Definition and proposed conservation objective for sanctuaries
  • Apply conservative approach to managing human activities in key foraging areas
  • Precautionary approach in key areas with targeted education, outreach and on-water presence
Contaminants
  • Recommendations to reduce contaminant contributions to the Southern Resident Killer Whale and their habitat will be proposed March 2020

Longer-term recovery measures

Proposed management approach for 2019

Summary of potential 2019 measures identified by TWGs
Area Management approach
Whole of Southern Resident Killer Whale critical habitat “Core” measures would be applied to whole of critical habitat
Enhanced management areas (within critical habitat) Strait of Juan de Fuca and Swiftsure Bank “Enhanced” measures would be applied to these key areas, which are important for foraging
Gulf Islands/Boundary Pass & Haro Strait
Mouth of the Fraser River
No-go/reduced use areas (within critical habitat) Saturna and Pender Islands More restrictive measures would be applied to these specific locales within Enhanced Management Areas
Swiftsure Bank
Map: SRKW critical habitat, proposed enhanced management areas and key foraging areas
Map: Southern Resident Killer Whale critical habitat, proposed enhanced management areas and key foraging areas

Potential fisheries management measures/scenarios for 2019

Context: Prey availability

Background: 2018 fisheries management measures

Map: 2018 SRKW Management Areas (for recreational finfish and commercial salmon fisheries)
Map: 2018 Southern Resident Killer Whale Management Areas (for recreational finfish and commercial salmon fisheries)

Juan de Fuca Strait (Pink hatched areas)

Gulf Islands (Pink hatched areas)

Mouth of the Fraser (Pink hatched areas)

Strait of Juan de Fuca/Swiftsure Bank

Scenario A

Map: Strait of Juan de Fuca/Swiftsure Bank Scenario A
Map: Strait of Juan de Fuca/Swiftsure Bank Scenario A

*Scenario could include expansion of fishery closures to include additional recreational fisheries and/or commercial fisheries

Scenario B

Map: Strait of Juan de Fuca/Swiftsure Bank Scenario B
Map: Strait of Juan de Fuca/Swiftsure Bank Scenario B

*Scenario could include expansion of fishery closures to include additional recreational fisheries and/or commercial fisheries.

Gulf Islands

Scenario A

Map: Gulf Islands Scenario A
Map: Gulf Islands Scenario A

*Scenario could include expansion of fishery closures to include additional recreational fisheries (shellfish) and/or commercial fisheries.

Scenario B

Map: Gulf Islands Scenario B
Map: Gulf Islands Scenario B

*Scenario could include expansion of fishery closures to include additional recreational fisheries and/or commercial fisheries.

Mouth of the Fraser

Scenario A

Map: Mouth of the Fraser Scenario A
Map: Mouth of the Fraser Scenario A

Scenario B

Map: Mouth of the Fraser Scenario B
Map: Mouth of the Fraser Scenario B

*Scenario could include expansion of fishery closures to include additional recreational fisheries and/or commercial fisheries.

Potential vessel management measures for 2019

Small vessel management measures

Measures under consideration include:

Commercial vessel noise measures

Expanded Slowdown Area in Haro Strait/Boundary Pass

Noise reduction measures in Strait of Juan de Fuca

Context: Contaminants

Contaminants

Recognizing the impact of contaminants to the Southern Resident Killer Whale, work is underway to:

The Technical Working Group is working towards 2020 measures by:

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