Action Plan for the Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales Falls Short of Providing a Concrete Plan for Ensuring Survival

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 10, 2017

Victoria - Randall Garrison, MP (Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke) is calling on the government to reconsider the new action plan that it put forward regarding the survival of Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales on Thursday March 9th 2017. Garrison had been calling on the Conservatives and now the Liberals since 2012 to put forward a plan with concrete actions necessary to ensure the survival of these iconic mammals.

"This plan falls short of offering specific actions, and instead once again focuses on research even though the principles of the Species at Risk Act state that action should not be delayed in the absence of full scientific certainty." states Garrison.

Garrison is calling for the government to immediately restore funding to NGOs to restore on-the-water monitoring by those who only have the interests of the whales as a mandate. He is also calling on the government to convene a local emergency summit on Southern Resident Killer Whales with First Nations, whale experts, whale watchers, whale scientists, environmental NGOs and local anglers to identify immediate actions to improve the viability of the whale populations and for the federal government to allocate funding to those initiatives. These immediate actions might include habitat protection and restoration projects, salmon enhancement and sanctuaries from commercial activities.

It is not enough to promise activity or plans to take another 25 years to put real action in gear. The Liberal plan is just a rehash of the Conservative draft plan and even the Liberal's plan itself admits that its focus is on research.

There are only 80 Southern Resident Killer Whales remaining and with a 50/50% chance that newly born calves will survive, they cannot wait any longer.

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