Stop Orca Cruelty!
Our 2008 report “Contact: In Pursuit of Orcas” provides many, many examples of whale watch companies’ non-compliance with rules and legislation (see http://www.lifeforcefoundation.org/files/INPURSUITORCASJAN2009_sm.pdf)
For 15 years the Lifeforce’s Boater Awareness Program has advised boaters of the rules and, most importantly, respect when operating in the vicinity of endangered orcas. We found that the pleasure boaters usually say they are just doing what the companies are doing because they thought at they knew what to do. When not watched by government enforcement agencies whale watch companies get too close and block the path ways.
More enforcement is needed so existing and any improved laws are adhered to. Lifeforce urges all to email US Commerce Gary Locke to increase orca protection by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (Email TheSec@doc.gov). In Canada contact Minister Shea (Email Shea.G@parl.gc.ca).
The US NOAA Fisheries has started a Public Comment regarding new laws to restrict boat traffic. Their web site is www.noaa.gov . Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org up until October 27, 2009.
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