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Point Roberts Orcas and More
Point Roberts Orcas and More

Oil and Chemical Resistant Whales, Otters and Birds?

Can endangered marine wildlife, such as whales, otters and birds, evolve to a biological state of being resistant to the harmful effects of oil and chemical contamination? No magic bullets on the horizon but essential methodologies can be developed to help wildlife "resist" travelling in polluted waters.

While some deterrents have been developed to scare birds out of polluted areas there is no consistent, permanent approach to protect these and other species because species-specific considerations must be explored further and volunteer availability must be permanent. Decisions to employ such methods should be based on speciesí behaviour and designated to knowledgeable persons/organizations who have permanent standby status.

Employing sounds as "attractors" and "deterrents" can be implemented to protect all species that could be exposed. This would include endangered orcas. Populations of orcas in the Pacific Northwest are facing extinction as a result of human impacts. First, methods must be developed and/or refined to be species specific. Secondly, there should be training and task designation. A WERT (Wildlife Emergency Response Team) should be part of the chemical/oil response efforts to prevent wildlife exposure. A committee of related organizations could organize the development of these programs. They must be contracted in order to be able to provide ongoing services. Funding may be stipulated under Federal legislation such as the Canada Shipping Act. Other funding sources could include company sponsorships.

 Download Oil and Chemical Resistant Publication