This undated photo provided by the University of Washington, show southern resident orca whales swimming off the coast of San Juan Island, Wash. (Jane Cogan/University of Washington via AP)

This undated photo provided by the University of Washington, show southern resident orca whales swimming off the coast of San Juan Island, Wash. (Jane Cogan/University of Washington via AP)

Public asked to give feedback on proposed protection measures for southern resident orcas

Measures focus on key threats related to contaminants, lack of prey, noise or physical disturbance

The federal government is looking for feedback on its proposed protection measures to address key threats to southern resident orca whales at public consultations in Greater Victoria this week.

The proposed protection measures focus on addressing key threats related to contaminants, lack of prey availability and underwater noise and physical disturbance.

The public can provide feedback at two public consultations in the area or through an online survey.

RELATED: Southern resident orcas spotted off the coast of California

The feedback is to help Fisheries and Oceans Canada refine the measures and understand potential implications of the proposed approaches.

Measures to broaden and strengthen protection of southern resident orca whales were announced by the federal government in the fall of 2018, with working groups established – made up of Indigenous groups, stakeholders, and subject matter experts – to support the development of the proposed measures to be implemented in the spring of 2019.

In March, Indigenous groups and stakeholders reviewed and gave feedback on the proposals developed, according to the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website.

RELATED: SeaWorld publishes decades of orca data to help wild whales

The public consultations are the next step with one in Victoria on April 23 and one in Sooke on April 24.

Victoria: April 23, from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Westin Bear Mountain Gold Resort and Spa (1999 Country Club Way, Victoria).

Sooke: April 24, from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Prestige Oceanfront Resort (6929 West Coast Road, Sooke)

The public can also provide feedback in the online survey.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

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