Coastlines along BC are home to some pretty incredible wildlife. In order to protect the animals that live in these ecosystems, the Canadian government has announced new protection guidelines. The guidelines will ensure marine life, such as BC's Southern Resident killer whales, remain protected and thriving.
British Columbia is known for the killer whale. These majestic animals have been gracing our shores for years. Unfortunately, according to the Canadian government, the population of BC's Southern Resident killer whales is reducing at an incredibly fast rate. The population is thought to be so small, that only 75 individuals remain in oceans.
These large mammals are exposed to a number of serious threats that the Canadian government are now recognizing. In order to help save and recover some of the population, “immediate action” is going to be taken through a series of investments and initiatives that will attempt to eliminate these threats.
A new $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan and a $67.4 million Whale Initiative will be working alongside one another to make positive strides towards conserving the lives of Canadian killer whales. These initiatives will attempt to address three key threats that currently face killer whales including “limited availability of their prey; physical and acoustic disturbance, and contaminants in the marine ecosystem.”
Each of these three threats will have a series of measures. This can include boats staying at least 400 m away from whales, boats reducing their speed in certain areas, as well as closure in areas once used for reactional salmon fishing.
Back in October 2018, the Canadian government also announced that it would be investing over $61 million over five years to address the Southern Resident killer whale decline.
On May 10, 2019, the Minister of Fisheries Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Jonathan Wilkinson, announced that these new measures would be building on the October announcement and funding.
According to the Canadian government, these initiatives were formed through direct consultation with First Nations, stakeholders, and communities. It is believed the enhancements in the three key areas will aid in the recovery of the killer whales species.
These killer whales are not the only species in decline. Great white sharks are also considered to be a “vulnerable” according to the World Conservation Union.
As the weather is warming up, this is the time of year when great white sharks begin appearing on Canadian coastlines. They're major threats also involve food and human activity.