November 2, 2020 by stephenshubert
A message from Safe Shippers:
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOU on their draft regulations for the Commercial Whale Watch Licensing Program.
SOME BACKGROUND• The WDFW is required to use best available science to adopt rules that reduce the daily and cumulative impacts on Southern Resident orca whales, and consider the economic viability of license holders.
• These regulations only restrict commercial whale-watching on the critically endangered Southern Residents, not any other orca or whale species or marine wildlife.
• Because there is so much to see in the Salish Sea, a state-commissioned study* determined: “Overall, rule elements that specifically and solely limit the viewing of SRKW are not expected to pose a viability concern to the [commercial whale-watching] industry.”
PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS BY NOVEMBER 13 to support strong, science-based rules for commercial whale-watching that reduce vessel noise and disturbance and help the critically endangered Southern Resident orcas find scarce food, rest, socialize, and raise healthy calves.
INFO FOR MAKING COMMENTS
• Details on the draft ruling from WDFW: wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/at-risk/species-recovery/orca/rule-making
• Comments from Friends of the San Juans: https://sanjuans.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Friends_of_the_San_Juans_comments_CWWLP_draft_rule_10-30-2020.pdf
MORE WAYS TO TAKE ACTION
1. In addition to submitting comments, you can register to attend and/or give comment at the December 4-5, 2020 online public hearing on the Commercial Whale Watch Licensing Program regulations. Learn more at the WDFW Commission website: https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/meetings
2. Learn more about this issue by watching the documentary film, Sentinels of Silence? Whale Watching, Noise, and the Orca and attending the online panel discussion on Wednesday, November 4, 1:30 – 2:30 pm PST. Register and receive a preview link to view the 26-minute documentary:
3. If you love boating (or love a boater), take the “Give Them Space” pledge, asking boaters to voluntarily stay one-half nautical mile away from the Southern Residents in the Salish Sea. It’s for everyone who wants to give the orcas more space: https://www.givethemspace.org/