June 1 to Sept. 30 Fisheries management measures to protect Southern Resident Killer Whales

The seasonal distribution and movement patterns of Southern Resident killer whales are strongly associated with the availability of their preferred prey, Chinook salmon.

Wild populations of Chinook salmon have declined dramatically in recent years. This lack of prey has been a critical factor in the decline of Southern Resident killer whales. To address this, the Government of Canada is imposing fishery management measures to reduce the total harvest for Chinook salmon by 25-35 per cent. These measures include closures that will help increase the availability of this critical food source for Southern Resident killer whales.

The closures will take place in three key foraging (feeding) areas: Strait of Juan de Fuca, Gulf Islands and the mouth of the Fraser River.

These measures will be implemented for the 2018 salmon fishing season, with monitoring to assess the effectiveness of the closures.

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Maps of closures

Strait of Juan de Fuca

Strait of Juan de Fuca – Full closure

  • Full closures for recreational finfish and commercial salmon fisheries.
  • Goal: To reduce disturbance from recreational and commercial salmon fishing vessels in key foraging areas, and increase availability of preferred prey.
Map of closures for the Strait of Juan de Fuca

Map of closures for the Strait of Juan de Fuca

June 1 to Sept. 30: Finfish closure for recreational fishery and salmon closure for commercial fishery in Subareas 20-3, 20-4 and a portion of Subarea 20-5 west of Otter Point.

Gulf Islands

Gulf Islands – Full closure

  • Full closures for recreational finfish and commercial salmon fisheries.
  • Goal: To reduce disturbance from recreational and commercial salmon fishing vessels in key foraging areas, and increase availability of preferred prey.
Map of closures for the Gulf Islands

Map of closures for the Gulf Islands

June 1 to Sept. 30: Finfish closure for recreational fishery and salmon closure for commercial fishery in Subareas 18-2, 18-4, 18-5 and 18-9.

Mouth of the Fraser River

Mouth of the Fraser River – Partial closure

  • Partial closures will allow recreational and commercial fishers to operate in certain portions of the area at specific times to harvest species other than Chinook salmon.
  • Goal: To increase the availability of preferred prey, and limit disturbance from recreational and commercial fishers while facilitating some fishing opportunities to mitigate economic impacts.
Map of closures for the Mouth of the Fraser River

Map of closures for the Mouth of the Fraser River

June 1 to Sept. 30: Recreational salmon fishing closure in Subareas 29-7, 29-9 & 29-10.
June 1 to July 31: Recreational and commercial salmon fishing closure in Subarea 29-6.
Aug.1 to Sept. 30: Recreational and commercial chinook non-retention in Subarea 29-6.

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