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e-20 (Protection of the environment)

42nd Parliament
Initiated by Mae Moore from Pender Island, British Columbia, on January 12, 2016, at 3:20 p.m. (EDT)
8545-421-3-07 Government Response to petitions concerning the protection of the environment
Endangered species
Environmental protection
Killer whales
Salish Sea
Government Response Tabled

Petition to the House of Commons in Parliament assembled

  • the survival of endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) in the Salish Sea is threatened by pollution, physical and acoustic disturbance primarily from vessel traffic and the availability of Chinook salmon stocks;
  • recent peer reviewed studies by DFO conducted on a population of about 85 SRKWs indicates a 50% chance of extinction within 100 years under "status quo" conditions;
  • the population of SRKWs has been below 100 animals for the past four decades and below 85 animals since 2011, despite its purported protection under Canada's Species at Risk Act;
  • calf survival is a critical component of population rebuilding and calf mortality rates are high, the birth of new calves in 2015 carries responsibility to facilitate survival;
  • it is documented that boat presence and engine noise can disrupt communication, behavior patterns and feeding of killer whales;
  • despite their endangered status and the known impact of vessel disturbance, approach distances for SRKWs are no different from any other Canadian marine mammal; and
  • existing Canadian guidelines regarding whale watching and approach distances (100m) for SRKWs are not consistent with US regulations (200 yards).
We, the undersigned, residents of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons to the above and request (or call upon) the House of Commons to provide urgently needed protection for Southern Resident Killer Whales by: limiting acoustic and physical disturbance in critical habitat by increasing vessel approach distances to 200 meters, from 100 meters as is the current regulation.
Saanich—Gulf Islands
Green Party
British Columbia
Petition presented to the House of Commons on June 14, 2016 (Petition No. 421-00493)
Government response tabled on August 17, 2016 (Sessional Paper No. 8545-421-07)
Open for signature : January 12, 2016, at 3:20 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature : May 11, 2016, at 3:20 p.m. (EDT)
Province / Territory
British Columbia
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
Other Countries
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