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A fluke of a North Atlantic right whale lifts out of the water

Federal Proposal Aims to Protect Endangered Right Whales From Ship Strikes

For Immediate Release, July 29, 2022 WASHINGTON- The National Marine Fisheries Service proposed a rule...
Common bottlenose dolphin

100 bottlenose dolphins hunted in Faroe Islands

This morning, (July 29th), 100 bottlenose dolphins were killed in Skálafjörður on the Faroe Islands. The...
North Atlantic right whale. Photo by Regina Asmutis-Sylvia

Update on Snow Cone – Critically Endangered Right Whale Who Gave Birth Despite Chronic Entanglement

July 2022 - Fisheries and Oceans Canada has reported that Snow Cone was spotted on...
Humpback whale lunge feeding off Manomet Point Credit:John Chisholm/MA Sharks

Whales Make Waves Off Manomet Point

Humpback whale lunge feeding off Manomet Point Credit:John Chisholm/MA Sharks Update July 25th, 2022: On...

Washington State's Lummi Tribe introduces new path to bring Tokitae home

A new angle is being explored in the ongoing effort to retire Tokitae (also called Lolita) and bring her back to her home waters in the Salish Sea.  Held captive at the Miami Seaquarium since she was taken from the endangered orca population known as the Southern Resident community in 1970, Tokitae was given the same Endangered Species Act protection as her family members in 2015.  This opened new legal avenues for addressing her captive living conditions and for securing her retirement to a seaside sanctuary.

The Lummi Nation, a Native tribe in Washington State, has long supported the movement to retire Tokitae and return her to the Pacific Northwest.  After decades of debate and in the midst of a court battle, a new effort using the 1855 Point Elliot Treaty, which allows the Lummi to protect their fishing areas and coastal lands, could be the intervention needed to finally free Tokitae as a member of an endangered orca population who share the Lummi Nation’s home waters.

At a press conference in Miami, representatives from the Lummi Nation were joined by Orca Network and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, who introduced a resolution to the city commission calling for Tokitae’s retirement, to discuss the treaty and this new approach.  The treaty has precedence in court, most recently with the successful termination of a proposed coal export terminal in Cherry Point, Washington.

This news comes at the same time as local efforts to protect her family, the Southern Resident population, are increasing.  Multiple bills were introduced in the 2018 Washington State Legislative session, and an Executive Order from Washington Governor Inslee was introduced on March 14th, directing increased efforts for the recovery of the orcas and their primary food, Chinook salmon.