A female resident orca whale breaches while swimming in Puget Sound near Bainbridge Island as seen from a federally permitted research vessel Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. (Elaine Thompso/The Canadian Press)

Conservationists want emergency order to save killer whales

Several groups, such as Ecojustice and David Suzuki Foundation, sent petition to fisheries minister

Several conservation groups say the federal government’s failure to issue an emergency order reducing threats to endangered orcas off the B.C. coast ahead of fishing and whale-watching season could mean their extinction.

Ecojustice, the David Suzuki Foundation, Georgia Strait Alliance, Natural Resources Defence Council, Raincoast Conservation Foundation and World Wildlife Fund sent a petition to Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc on Jan. 30.

The group says LeBlanc failed to recommend an emergency order to cabinet by March 1, which could have seen priority feeding refuges established, fishing restricted and speed reductions for commercial vessels put in place for the season.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans identified the same priorities in a report released last month.

The report said that the species is on a trajectory to disappear unless further efforts are taken.

Misty MacDuffee, with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, says the situation is critical for the remaining 76 southern resident killer whales which have up to a 50 per cent chance of disappearing in the next century.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Elizabeth May arrested at Kinder Morgan protest

Randall Garrison, MP for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, speaks out against pipeline

Large Kinder Morgan pipeline protest at Victoria MP office

Dozens gathered out front of Murray Rankin’s constituency office Friday to protest Trans Mountain pipeline

Esquimalt High robotics students engineer their way to Texas

Rookie team qualifies for FIRST World Championship after breathing life into armed robot Spike

5 must-do things this weekend in Greater Victoria

Soccer playoffs, hockey playoffs, Dunahee run, art show and Lego

Capital Region regular gas prices highest since 2008

Greater Victoria prices roughly 10 cents above the B.C. average

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 23, 2018

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

Vancouver Island pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions we received from around the region

MLA Report: Lowering the voting age to 16 in BC

By Andrew Weaver On March 13, I introduced for a third time… Continue reading

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

View Royal mayor says Saanich had a take-it-or-leave-it approach to fire dispatch

Re: Communities pull the plug on Saanich fire dispatch. Mayor Richard Atwell… Continue reading

B.C. mother hit in truck rampage dies

Family confirms mother of four Kelly Sandoval dies almost two months after being hit.

Comox Valley hospital operating above patient capacity

The new healthcare facility averaged a 110 per cent patient volume between October and February

Most Read