Time is running out to fend off orca extinction

Federal government’s orca symposium failed to establish concrete action on recovery measures, say seven conservation groups

The federal government’s southern resident killer whale Symposium, held as part of the Oceans Protection Plan this week in Vancouver, failed to identify concrete actions to ensure the recovery of the endangered killer whales, according to seven environmental organizations. “Threats to southern residents are well-documented and to support recovery we need to be implementing tangible measures immediately,” says Christianne Wilhelmson,…

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Loss of newborn orca devastating to southern resident population

Georgia Strait Alliance responds to news of likely orca death October 2014 VANCOUVER – With the news this week that 7 week old newborn southern resident orca L120 has not been seen with its mother in many days and is presumed dead, the reality of the stresses on orca populations and the increasing challenges to their survival have been further…

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Naval Gazing: Military must address activities in killer whale critical habitat

March 21, 2012 VANCOUVER – Eight conservation organizations working to protect marine wildlife on Canada’s Pacific coast are urging the Canadian Navy to exclude military training exercises from the critical habitat of southern resident killer whales.  This population of killer whales is listed as endangered under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA) and the legal obligation to protect their critical…

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Appeal court decision affirms protection for killer whales

Environmental groups celebrate victory after federal government ordered to pay costs of failed appeal Feb. 9, 2012 VANCOUVER – The federal Court of Appeal has upheld a precedent-setting ruling that confirmed the federal government is legally bound to protect killer whale habitat, according to a judgment released today. In its judgment, the Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed nearly all aspects…

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Environmental groups back in court to defend killer whale ruling

Federal government seeks to reverse parts of 2010 decision on critical habitat protection November 30, 2011 VANCOUVER – Ecojustice will appear before the federal Court of Appeal today to defend a precedent-setting ruling that confirmed the federal government is legally bound to protect killer whale habitat. Ottawa has since appealed the ruling. Ecojustice, representing a coalition of nine environmental groups,…

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Sharing the bounty: orca’s stake in salmon protection

Research shows need for restoring salmon population key to orca recovery November 9, 2011 VANCOUVER – In a paper published today in PLoS ONE, researchers reveal the energetic needs of killer whales for Chinook salmon in the Salish Sea. This important information underscores how recovery planning for both species needs to factor in just how many salmon the killer whales…

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Salmon Inquiry shows need for government overhaul

Conservation groups say focus must be salmon, not industry October 18, 2011 VANCOUVER – The federal government must re-prioritize science and conserving salmon rather than surrendering to short-term industry interests, according to recommendations made by conservation groups to a national inquiry into the decline of Fraser sockeye. The recommendations were submitted on October 17 by the Conservation Coalition, which was…

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Big step taken in protecting the Strait of Georgia

Ministers’ announcement milestone in creating Conservation Area for Southern Strait October 13, 2011  Vancouver – Today’s announcement of an agreement between the Federal and BC Provincial governments regarding seabed rights in the proposed National Marine Conservation Area in the Southern Strait of Georgia was greeted by enthusiastic support by the Georgia Strait Alliance. The announcement by Minister Kent and Minister…

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Federal Court awards costs on orca protection case

Fisheries on the hook for $80,000 in legal costs

by Mark Hume The Federal Court of Canada has stuck the Department of Fisheries and Oceans with an $80,000 legal bill because, in a court battle over orca habitat, the government “displayed reprehensible, scandalous or improper conduct that is deserving of reproof or rebuke.” DevonPage, executive director of Ecojustice, a not-for-profit legal foundation, said the decision “is exceptional” and its…

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DFO seeks to undo important precedent for at-risk species

January 17, 2010 Environmental groups headed back to court to uphold killer whale victory   VANCOUVER – Environmental groups vowed today to fight the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ (DFO) appeal of a decisive and precedent-setting Federal Court ruling that declared that  DFO must protect critical habitat of killer whales and other aquatic species. DFO seeks to overturn the decision…

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