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Southern Resident Orcas

Northwest elected leaders to assess breaching the Snake River dams

Southern Resident orcas need Snake River salmon, and a new announcement from key elected officials...
credit: Hysazu Photography

Joint response concerning “no apparent shortage of prey for Southern Resident killer whales” in the Salish Sea

October 14, 2021 On October 12, the University of British Columbia (UBC) issued a press...
Leonardo Da Silva/Flickr

Alarming report raises worries for marine mammals held at the Miami Seaquarium

Leonardo Da Silva/Flickr A disturbing report on the conditions at the Miami Seaquarium from the...
Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

Shocking footage of captive orca butting head against wall

Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals Distressing scenes have recently emerged from Marineland in Ontario where Kiska, the...
All policy news
  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent bycatch
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling

Whale culture should play a part in their conservation says new international study

An international group of researchers working on a wide range of species, including whales, argues...

No change in Norway whaling quota as number of whales to be killed remains high

Norway’s Minister of Fisheries has announced that the country has set itself the same number...

Preparations for beluga whale move to Iceland continue

Ahead of the relocation of Little White and Little Grey to the world’s first open...
Photo taken by Sea to Shore Alliance under NOAA Permit #15488

Senate Leaders Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Save the North Atlantic Right Whale

After a deadly summer for North Atlantic right whales, Senators Booker (D-NJ), Isakson (R-GA) and...

Norway’s whaling future uncertain after survey shows little domestic appetite for whale meat

The future of Norway’s whaling industry appears to be in serious doubt as it struggles...

Moving in the wrong direction: new application would bring belugas to US marine parks

Earlier this year, WDC celebrated the passage of a landmark law to ban whale and...

Financial worth of whales revealed
Two beautiful Hector's dolphins leap just off new Zealand's coast. © Mike Bossley

Significant Victory for WDC in Fight to Save World’s Smallest Dolphins

A significant victory in the fight to save dolphins in New Zealand from extinction! This...
Orcas are crammed together in sickening conditions

Russian Citizens Call For Action to Prevent Another Whale Jail

Reports from inside Russia have revealed more than 100,000 petition signers have raised their objections...
Fin whale

Positive whaling news emerges from Iceland

News is emerging from Iceland that the company behind Iceland’s fin whale hunts, Hvalur hf,...

WDC funded research shows ‘pingers’ could save porpoises from fishing nets

Underwater sound devices called ‘pingers’ could be an effective, long-term way to prevent porpoises getting...
Beluga whales - Little Grey and Little White

Beluga Sanctuary Update – July 1st

Update: 1st July 2020 We have been working to relocate belugas, Little Grey and Little...

No More Salmon Net Pens in the Discovery Islands!

20110720 - A30s 1 - Jared Towers

Breaking news from Canada: The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has announced the phase-out of Atlantic salmon open-net pens in the Discovery Islands. These fish farms can cause significant harm to wild Pacific salmon from Canada's Fraser River by transmitting sea lice and other harmful pathogens to young wild fish. These salmon are not only an important food source for both the Northern and Southern Resident orca communities, but are an essential part of the culture of First Nations in British Columbia.

The Discovery Islands are in the traditional territory of the Homalco, Klahoose, K'ómoks, Kwaikah, Tla'amin, We Wai Kai, and Wei Wai Kum First Nations. This significant win for wild salmon, orcas, the ecosystem of British Columbia and First Nations would not have been possible without their leadership. 

The Canadian Government's own 2012 report on the decline of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River recommended removing net pens from the Discovery Islands by September 30, 2020. With no indication that the deadline would be met by the government, earlier this year 101 British Columbia First Nations and other supporters called for the removal of those fish farms. WDC was proud to add our voice to the effort, working with colleagues on the U.S. side of the border to highlight the impacts of fish farms to the food source of Southern Resident orcas and call on the Canadian Government to take action.

This decision requires the 19 open-net salmon farms in the Discovery Islands to be gone by June 22, 2022. The fish currently held in pens will finish their growth and be harvested, but no new fish can be added.

Chinook (spring.Michael Humling.USFWS)

We are encouraged by this awesome news! It is only with your support that we can make a difference in the lives of these amazing orcas!

This is a big win for wild salmon and fish-dependent orca communities, and a great note to end 2020. As always, we celebrate the victories while recognizing there is still more work to do. There are many more open-net salmon farms in British Columbia that impact wild salmon and need to come out. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has committed to phasing out all open-net Atlantic salmon farms in BC waters, and we'll keep working with our partners and supporting the BC First Nations to make sure it happens!

Another way to help is by sharing this win on social media!

1 Comment

  1. Robert Scott DeLay on 09/19/2021 at 6:29 pm

    It’s about twenty years to late but better late than never. I fished the Kenai for sockeye this fall 2.5 million fish. Canadian rivers would have been equal. The low run numbers are due to pens. Canadian rivers with no salmon pens are doing far better.

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