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WDC provides supportive care to a live-stranded common dolphin. Credit: Andrea Spence/IFAW

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Expands Marine Mammal Stranding Network Territory

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation team expands the Greater Atlantic Regional Marine Mammal Stranding Network...
Hysazu Photography | Sara Shimazu

Dam Good News for Southern Resident orcas

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Emergency Petition Seeks to Shield Right Whale Moms, Calves From Vessel Strikes

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The Yushin Maru catcher ship of the Japanese whaling fleet injures a whale with its first harpoon attempt, and takes a further three harpoon shots before finally killing the badly injured fleeing whale. Finally they drowned the mammal beneath the harpooon deck of the ship to kill it.  Southern Ocean.  07.01.2006

Moves to overturn whaling ban rejected

Last week, the 68th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC, the body that regulates...
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  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent bycatch
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
  • Strandings

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Financial worth of whales revealed

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Two beautiful Hector's dolphins leap just off new Zealand's coast. © Mike Bossley

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No More Salmon Net Pens in the Discovery Islands!

20110720 - A30s 1 - Jared Towers
201207-namgis-first-nations-fish-farms-aquaculture-indigenous-foodways-salmon-farm-run-pollution-10-DJI_0066-768x511

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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