Wed, 18 November 2020
The Southern Resident Orca Population is considered endangered in the US and Canada with less than 75 individuals left in the population. The reasons for this low number vary from being caught for marine theme parks such as SeaWorld in the 1960s-70s, the lack of salmon as the Orca population only eat salmon, and water pollution (including plastic pollution) that cause a build-up of toxic chemicals in their bodies. These factors require specific protections for the Orcas.
So it is quite surprising when the Navy is approved for drills in the area frequented by the Southern Resident Orca Population off the coast of Washington State. Navy drills are not new and are normally approved to "take" 1 or 2 marine mammals per year; however, now they are approved to "take" 51 Orcas per year until the year 2027. Will the Navy "take" this many? Probably not, but if they did, it would be okay. Unfortunately for the Orca population, it would result in the extirpation.
What is "take" you ask? To "take" a marine mammal means the attempted or actual harassment, hunting, capturing, or killing of any marine mammal. Normally, marine mammals such as Orcas are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act; however, the Navy has special approvals. Some of the drills that will be conducted will be firing torpedoes and projectiles, detonating bombs, piloting undersea drones, and using sonar.
It seems as though animal protection in the US means nothing unless it doesn't get in the way of the military or businesses. Do you agree?
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Direct download: SUFB_S1083_NavyDrillsAllowedToTakeUpTo51OrcasPerYear.mp3
Category:Southern Resident Orcas -- posted at: 12:00am EDT
Fri, 19 October 2018
In September, I interviewed Dr. Naomi Rose to discuss what is happening to the Southern Resident Orca Population. There are only 74 left and the population has not had a new birth for the past 3 years. One of the recent deaths of an Orca named J50 was presumed to be the cause of starvation. The population only eats Chinook Salmon and nothing else. A lack of Chinook Salmon has lead to the number of individuals in the population to 74, the lowest in 35 years!!!
Naomi stated that the cause of the lack of salmon prey for the Orca population was due to damns in the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The removal of the damns could bring back the salmon population and help save the Orcas; however, the hydroelectric companies do not want to remove the damns.
There was an article in the Seattle Times published last week by Lynda Mapes on a new effort to help the Orcas now instead of in the future because there just isn't that much time left for these whales.
A new election around the corner could change the tide on this issue and that is what I am focusing on in this episode.
Do you think the damns should be removed? Let me know in the Facebook Group.
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Fri, 21 September 2018
The Southern Resident Orca population is a terrible shape. The Orca known as J50 has recently disappeared causing concern for scientists, conservationists and advocates in Canada and the US. There are now only 74 Orcas left in that population.
The major contributing factors to the situation with the Orca population are the lack of chinook salmon and the increase of ship traffic along the West Coast of North America causes risk of ship strikes and underwater noise.
There are a number of organizations that do not think the Canadian Government is doing enough to protect the Orcas, so they decided to sue them.
I discuss what they want the Government to do and why during this episode.
Enjoy the Podcast!!!
Do you think the organizations should sue the government for the action that is rarely used? Let me know in the Facebook Group.
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Direct download: SUFB_S573_IsTheCanadianGovernmentDoingEnoughToProtectOrcas.mp3
Category:Southern Resident Orcas -- posted at: 4:00pm EDT