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News Releases

Orcas Need A New Protection Plan!
posted on December 4, 2020

Orcas Need A New Protection Plan!

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission are considering not implementing their proposed plan to suspend viewing of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKWs) by whale watch companies.

As WDFW previously stated: “The purpose of creating rules for commercial whale watching of SRKW is to reduce the impacts of vessel noise and disturbance on the whales' ability to forage, rest, and socialize ... “For these reasons, commercial viewing on southern residents should be suspended until such time as the whales have experienced some recovery; indeed, we believe that a temporary suspension is the only responsible policy consistent with a precautionary approach.”

“The Commission may significantly modify their proposal to address opposition voiced by the whale-watching representatives at their last Advisory Committee meeting. The continual noise from rotating whale watching vessels that also attracts other boaters to the orcas would result in ongoing harmful impacts on the SRKWs. WDFW may also permit all day whale watching harassment from 10am to 1 hour before sunset. This will certainly risk the survival of the SRKWs”, stated Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce Founder.

Public Comment ends December 5th and will be discussed on December 18th. A preliminary report was discussed on December 4th at a Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting.

A New Protection Plan

Lifeforce’s New Plan for Orca Protection promotes modern technological advances that will increase information about the travel patterns of the Southern Resident killer whales. A moratorium on whale watching does in fact have life-saving value to the whales because it reduces the proven harmful impacts from boat traffic.

Instead of whale watch businesses, the more humane, modern alternatives must be implemented. This can include land based whale watching/monitoring (with high power telescopes and other research equipment); land based drone monitoring; hydrophones and motion sensing cameras on navigation markers and at land bases; the tracking/vocal identifications by the use of vast government, university and other hydrophone networks in the Salish Sea and oceans; satellite monitoring and much, much more.

Reducing Research Vessel Traffic Too!

Government agencies and others must recognize the threats by ongoing unnecessary research vessels.

SRKWs and other orcas have been treated as research tools for lucrative grants and careers. The continuous hour’s long close follows and getting on top of frightened orcas must be stopped. Alternatives are available to stop the excessive monitoring and studying them to death!


Since 1993, the Vancouver-based ecology organization, Lifeforce, has conducted a Lifewatch Boater Awareness program to monitor boat traffic and the impact on endangered orcas. Our reports exposed the numerous issues with the whale watching industry in Southern BC and WA. Over the years Lifeforce has documented violations by both commercial and pleasure boat (See Photo). This led to many WDFW warnings and fines. Lifeforce’s work has helped to get increased protection and enforcement in Canada and the US.

For Lifeforce’s submission to the Fish and Wildlife Commission contact: lifeforcesociety@gmail.com

Please Help Lifeforce Help Orcas!

Your valued moral and financial support would be greatly appreciated. You can help by making a donation to Lifeforce Foundation through Paypal: YOUR DONATION HERE!
or by mail: Lifeforce, Box 3117, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6