Monday, March 21, 2016

ORCA AWARENESS MONTH Proclaimed!


JUNE IS ORCA AWARENESS MONTH IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
ORCA AWARENESS MONTH is JUNE 2019, and our work goes on.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO HELP WITH EVENTS!

To join our efforts to promote Whale Protection Zones around southern Vancouver Island, a moratorium on the Chinook fishery, and reduction in underwater noise, boat collisions and whale entanglement in fishing gear, as well as to join the Bring Lolita Home campaign, contact orcamonth@gmail.com.

For tips on taking individual action, READ OUR BOOKLET full of facts, stats, addresses: 
Words About Whales: Speaking Out For Orcas. (orcamonth@gmail.com for a copy)

Orca Awareness 2019 display at Qualicum Branch Vancouver Island Regional Library:





There are many ways of thinking and communicating about our cetacean neighbours in the Salish Sea, and one way to communicate their plight is through theatre. TOOKS ON COOK READERS' THEATRE hosted a performance at 1175 Cook St, Victoria, of:


"VOICES FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE" on Saturday October 6th.
Included was a poem about Orca J35 by Linda Rogers -- "A Lighter Blue",
"Seance" -- a comedy by Gary Johnson,
"Orca Seance" -- a tragi-comedy by "Orcas"


Orca Month joined the Georgia Strait Alliance to display whale and marine information at the Oak Bay Green Committee's 
PLASTICS RECYCLING DEPOT.
Piles of plastic collected here on but ONE morning in ONE municipality. No wonder the oceans contain almost more plastic than living things, and that marine animals are choking on it. The world needs to curb that industry. It is the worst product of the fossil fuel industry, and Orca Month is glad that the current Government of Canada has introduced a plan to cut back on production and use in 2021. WE the consumers need to start now however: reject plastic products and packaging. Also, consider gathering friends for a BEACH CLEAN-UP near you on a sunny summer day.




Wherever you live in BC, please host a letter writing and information day at home or with your community group during ORCA AWARENESS MONTH 2019! We write to politicians requesting stronger protections for orcas as required under the Species At Risk Act (see list above), and in support of www.whalesanctuaryproject.org, which works to BRING CAPTIVES HOME (such as Lolita and Corky) to waters off BC.

Are you an artist? An Orca Month MARINE AND ORCA ART SHOW was held at Caffe Misto in Victoria, 2865 Foul Bay Road, throughout June 2018. WE NEED ARTISTS TO ORGANIZE SHOWS IN SUPPORT OF CETACEAN CONSERVATION FOR JUNE 2019. 
Gather your painting or photography group and present  marine art by collaborating with a cafĂ© 
or other local shop.


The Georgia Strait Alliance, David Suzuki Foundation, EcoJustice, Raincoast Foundation and other whale-defence groups, asked Parliament to pass an emergency order giving Salish Sea orcas dedicated feeding refuges in their hunting corridors -- a few have been set aside for this summer, south of Sooke, at the mouth of the Fraser River and near Saturna Island. The fishing industry opposes them however. To support this salmon conservation and to ask the politicians to extend quiet zones for orcas, please write to your MP, the Minister of Fisheries (Jonathan Wilkinson), and  the Prime Minister (pm@pm.gc.ca, or in print to: Justin Trudeau House of Commons Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6.

Fighting noise in the ocean: further underwater shipping noise will guarantee extinction for southern residents, marine scientists tell the federal government:
https://wildwhales.org/2017/04/marine-scientists-urge-federal-government-to-reduce-underwater-noise-in-the-salish-sea-read-their-letter-here/

Ask the Navy to avoid using sonar in whale feeding areas off Vancouver Island. Engine noise as well as underwater sonar disorients them and drives them insane. Write to: 


ESQUIMALTPACIFICNAVYPUBLICAFFAIRS@forces.gc.ca. and to: Harjit.Sajjan@parl.gc.ca


ADD YOUR VOICE! THE ORCAS NEED HELP.


  Some GOOD NEWS: Washington Congressman Rick Larsen has co-introduced a Bill against captivity of orcas: the Orca Responsibility & Care Advancement (ORCA) Act.
In Canada, Senator Wilfred Moore has introduced Bill S-203 banning holding whales and dolphins in captivity. At 2nd reading.

https://openparliament.ca/bills/42-1/S-203/
PASSED! Bill S-203 banning whale captivity and breeding in aquariums. VICTORIES FOR WHALES AND DOLPHINS ARE INCREASING BUT THEIR PLIGHT WORSENS -- WE NEED TO DO MORE. CHINOOK FISHING MORATORIUM AN IMPORTANT NEXT STEP -- KEEP SPEAKING UP!

June 2019 -- 0NLY 75 SRKWs LEFT  (J, K, and L pods) + one new calf born this spring - we hope s/he will survive long enough to be counted a thriving new member of the pods

 

 Shrine For Dead and Captive Orcas, January at Oak Bay Marina 

 Shrine for Tilikum at site of former Sealand of the Pacific aquarium at Oak Bay Marina


REQUESTS FOR ASSISTANCE:

The American group Orca Relief has asked the National Marine Fisheries Service (US) via petition to establish a WHALE PROTECTION ZONE along the Haro Strait side of San Juan Island, where orcas can find prey and rest in quiet away from boats and engines.

http://www.orcarelief.org/protection-zone/
The SRKWs are starving due to lack of Chinook salmon. A total moratorium on the Chinook fishery is advisable. Please ask for it at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans:   Min@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

To support creation of a National Marine Conservation Area for the southern Strait of Georgia, and you would like to see it a protected zone away from shipping traffic, tell Parks Canada using the form at www.pc.gc.ca.
Former Premier Christy Clark and Governor Inslee of Washington signed a Cascadia Corridor agreement for joint projects in  technology and innovation. Ask the present BC Government to include conservation in the projects, i.e. to preserve fish, whales and other marine populations in the Salish Sea. Harbour pollution, pipelines, tankers and over-fishing of salmon and herring all play a role. The Orca Month Committee is asking Premier Horgan and Governor Inslee whether the Cascadia corridor could include mitigation of these problems. You can too: http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/contact-gov-inslee
premier@gov.bc.ca, or   Office of the Premier, Legislative Bldgs, 501 Belleville St., Victoria V8V 1X4.  Ask them if they think 74 Southern Resident Killer Whales are enough.

Orca Month Committee is also asking federal and provincial politicians to formally request the return of native killer whales Lolita and Corky to a sanctuary bay in BC or Washington State. See proposals from both www.whalesanctuarysociety.org, and www.orcanetwork.org. If cultural artifacts are requested to be returned, living wildlife certainly should be.


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Please take your PLASTICS to your local RECYCLE DEPOT
If you work in a school, hospital or office, look at single-use plastics which you could do without

Plastics are made in laboratories, and they "degrade" only by becoming so microscopic they enter and disable the cells of living things, including the plankton which marine animals ingest. Plastics which break down to chips choke birds and marine mammals, or fill their stomachs with non-nutrients.
8 million tons of plastic are dumped into Earth's oceans every year. (Seachoice) Only 5% are recycled.


Every bit of plastic ever produced still exists, and will still exist after our 
great-grandchildren’sgreat-grandchildren have all been born and died

"Marine plastics are a greater threat to life on Earth than is climate change."
                        -- Charles Moore, mariner, scientist,  author of Plastic Ocean, 2011


Display at Orca Month Recycle Day with Oak Bay Green Committee .
Friends don't let friends buy plastic goods. Use alternatives!

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MAKE EVERY MONTH ORCA MONTH.  New volunteers always welcome. 
"Every Month Is Orca Month"

Our goal is to focus public attention on the needs of the southern and northern residents orcas and migrants,  and the threats that have made them "endangered" and "threatened" according to the federal Species At Risk Act:
ocean pollution - chemical and plastic
intermittent shortage of salmon (their main prey)
fishing gear entanglement
underwater shipping noise
danger of collision with ships, ferries and tankers
catastrophic population decline during decades of capture for the aquarium trade
We work toward the release of all captive cetaceans, such as Lolita who was captured from L pod over 40 years ago, and whose mother and other family still swim in the Salish Sea

  Lolita
We support the work of Orca Network in bringing Lolita home from the Miami Seaquarium.
See @salishorcas for Lolita updates
Follow us on Twitter -- @orcamonthBC

Contact us at: orcamonth@gmail.com