Species Profile

Killer Whale Northeast Pacific transient population

Scientific Name: Orcinus orca
Other/Previous Names: Killer Whale (Northeast Pacific transient population),Killer Whale (West Coast Transient population)
Taxonomy Group: Mammals
COSEWIC Range: Pacific Ocean
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2008
COSEWIC Status: Threatened
COSEWIC Status Criteria: Met criterion for Endangered, D1, but designated Threatened, D1, because total abundance has increased since the 1970's.
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This population has a very small number of mature individuals (~122). It is subject to threats from high-levels of contaminants, acoustical and physical disturbance, and potential oil spills. However, the population has been increasing since the mid-1970s when monitoring began, and its prey base of pinnipeds and cetaceans is likely stable or increasing.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Special Concern in April 1999. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in November 2001 and in November 2008.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Threatened
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2003-06-05

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

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Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Killer Whale

Killer Whale Photo 1

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Description

The killer whale (Orcinus orca) is the largest member of the dolphin family. Its size, distinctive black and white markings, and tall dorsal fin characterize the species. Adult males may reach overall lengths of eight to nine metres, and weigh up to five tonnes. Females are smaller, and measure seven metres and four tonnes. Females typically live longer than males, and some have been known to live up to 80-90 years, but the average life span of a killer whale in the wild is more likely 30-50 years. The first sight of a killer whale is usually the iconic triangular dorsal fin, which may measure up to 1.8 metres in males. In females and young whales, the fin is curved and less than one metre high. The dorsal fin and the distinctive colouration of mainly black above and white below, with an oval white patch behind each eye and a light-coloured ‘saddle patch’ behind the dorsal fin, provide unmistakable features for the species’ identification. Additionally, killer whale individuals are relatively easy to recognize due to differences in shape, size and position of the eye patch and saddle patch, along with variations in the shape, size, angle, and scarring of the dorsal fin. Three distinct groups, or ecotypes, of killer whales inhabit Canadian Pacific waters: Residents, Offshores, and Transients (or Bigg’s Killer Whales, as they are now commonly referred to). Transient Killer Whales feed primarily on marine mammals, while Resident Killer Whales feed exclusively on fish (primarily salmon) and cephalopods. Offshore Killer Whales are the least understood of the three ecotypes and consume primarily fish, with sharks species playing a dominant role in their diet. Although the three ecotypes exhibit overlapping ranges, they are acoustically, genetically, and culturally distinct from each other and have different foraging behaviours and diets. Research suggests that Transients have been genetically separated from all other killer whales for about 750,000 years. Relative to Resident and Offshore Killer Whales, Transient Killer Whales are acoustically quiet predators that rely on stealth and passive listening to locate and approach their prey without detection. They do often vocalize during or immediately following predation events. Transients in Canadian Pacific waters share a common set of distinct stereotyped calls and do not exhibit the significant dialect variations observed in Resident Killer Whale vocalizations (although some dialect variation may exist).

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Distribution and Population

Killer whales are one of the most widely distributed mammals in the world. They are known to occur in all of the world’s oceans and most seas, but are most commonly found in productive coastal waters in high latitude regions. In Canadian Pacific waters, they have been observed in inshore channels and inlets, along the outer coast, and in pelagic waters over the continental shelf and beyond. Transient Killer Whales are widely distributed in coastal waters of the eastern North Pacific. They occur along the exposed outer coast as well as in protected inshore channels, straits, passages, and inlets. Transient Killer Whales in Canadian Pacific waters are thought to comprise two fairly discrete clusters, with one portion more commonly observed within 10 km of the coast (and referred to as ‘inner coast’ Transients) and the other portion only rarely encountered, typically in outer coast waters (and referred to as ‘outer coast’ Transients). There remains considerable uncertainty regarding the distinctiveness of these clusters and the appropriate criteria to define them. Although they are occasionally seen in Washington, Alaska, and California, Transient Killer Whales in Canadian Pacific waters are non-migratory and spend the majority of their life within the coastal waters of British Columbia. A total of 521 individuals were identified between 1990 and 2011 (304 ‘inner coast’ and 217 ‘outer coast’ animals). More recently (2019), based on differing criteria, a subset of 349 Transient individuals that showed the most fidelity to Canadian Pacific coastal waters was identified, 206 of which were mature. This population subset included all individuals assigned to the earlier ‘inner coast’ grouping. An updated DFO population status assessment is currently underway through the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) process, and is expected to provide additional information on the distribution, abundance, and spatial structure of Transients in Canadian Pacific waters.

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Habitat

Transient Killer Whales are highly mobile, marine-mammal-hunting specialists, and their habitat overlaps that of their primary prey species (i.e., Harbour Seals, Harbour Porpoises, Steller Sea Lions, and Dall’s Porpoises). Their underwater acoustic environment must be of sufficient quality (low levels of ambient noise) to allow for detection of prey through passive listening. Successful foraging is dependent on the element of surprise. Once prey have detected the presence of Transient Killer Whales, it is likely better for the group to move out of the area and seek other prey elsewhere. This creates the need for an extensive habitat where prey are distributed over great distances. Scientific research and science advice published in 2013 indicated that all Canadian Pacific marine waters bounded by a distance of three nautical miles (5.56 km) from the nearest shore are of particular importance to Transient Killer Whales for feeding and foraging, as well as for reproduction, socializing, and resting.

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Biology

Killer whales are long-lived animals that have a low reproductive potential. In Resident Killer Whales, females reach sexual maturity at 13 years of age, give birth to their first viable calf at around 14 years of age, and produce a single calf every five years over a 24 year reproductive lifespan, although the calving interval can range from two to 11 years. Gestation is 16-17 months, one of the longest of all whales. Although there are less data for Transient Killer Whales, reproductive parameters are likely similar to those of Residents. Transients are known to give birth year-round. Killer whales have a female-dominant or matriarchal social structure. However, in contrast to the Resident Killer Whale social structure, where individuals closely associate with their matriline (mother and descendants) throughout their lives, the social groupings of Transients are much more fluid and difficult to interpret. Transients’ offspring of both sexes may disperse from their maternal groups and form groups with individuals from other maternal lineages, although there can be strong long-term associations. Typical group sizes of Transients are three to six animals, though temporary associations of much larger groups have been observed.

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Threats

Transient Killer Whales are long-lived animals that sit at the top of the marine food web. However, the small population size of Transients in Canadian Pacific waters (521 individuals identified between 1990 and 2011) and a very low reproductive rate (one calf approximately every five years) reduce their ability to recover from catastrophic events or population declines, and place them at additional risk from anthropogenic threats. Of the identified threats to Transient Killer Whales, the most pressing anthropogenic threats are environmental contaminants and disturbance (acoustic and physical). Other identified threats to Transient Killer Whales include: biological pollutants, trace metals, toxic spills (including both hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon spills), disease, collision with vessels, and reductions to prey availability or quality. The extent to which threats act synergistically or cumulatively on Transient Killer Whales is currently unknown. Transient Killer Whales are at particular risk from chemical contaminants that are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBTs) because of the longevity of Transients and the fact that they feed at high trophic levels, with their diet comprised of other animals (such as Harbour Seals) that are already heavily contaminated with PBTs. Adult Transient Killer Whale females are less PBT-contaminated than adult males, due to the reproductive transfer of these chemicals from mother to offspring during gestation and lactation. Regarding the threats of noise and disturbance, because Transient Killer Whales rely on stealth and passive listening to locate and detect prey, acoustic disturbance (both chronic and acute) likely presents a high risk to Transient Killer Whale recovery by impacting foraging success. It is not well understood how physical disturbance from vessels, aircrafts, and other activities may affect Transient Killer Whales, but it is likely that it also disrupts hunting behaviour and reduces foraging success.

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Killer Whale, Northeast Pacific transient population, is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

Federal Protection SARA contains provisions that allow for the protection of certain listed species-at-risk individuals (those listed as extirpated, endangered, or threatened), their residences, as well as their critical habitat. The Transient Killer Whale was legally listed as Threatened on Schedule 1 with the proclamation of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2003. The responsibility for conservation of species at risk is shared by all jurisdictions in Canada. The Act recognizes this joint responsibility and that all Canadians have a role to play in the protection of wildlife. More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in A guide to your responsibilities under the Species at Risk Act. Provincial and Territorial Protection For information on how provincial or territorial laws protect the species, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the Transient Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Recovery Progress and Activities

Summary of Progress to Date In 2007, a Recovery Strategy for the Transient Killer Whale in Canada was finalized and published outlining the population and distribution objectives and broad strategies to recover the population. Summary of Research/Monitoring Activities To contribute to the recovery of Transient Killer Whales, many research, stewardship, and other recovery activities have been initiated by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and other federal government agencies including Parks Canada Agency (PCA), as well as by Indigenous groups, academia, local environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs), the Province of British Columbia, and industry. Researchers and collaborators in adjacent US waters have also contributed to Transient Killer Whale recovery in Canada. Recent progress includes: the collection of data on Transient Killer Whale individuals across seasons, habitats, and years, via ongoing cetacean research efforts; the creation of a new photo-identification catalogue, based on a 61-year archive of photo-identification data from 1958 to 2018; ongoing progress in developing a more comprehensive understanding of population-level impacts of threats; an improved understanding of foraging habitat and the range of Transient Killer Whales and their prey, obtained via dedicated and opportunistic surveys and sightings networks; amendments to the Marine Mammal Regulations of the Fisheries Act in 2018, and increased Conservation and Protection (C&P) program capacity, providing further protection for Transient Killer Whales and their mammalian prey; expanded outreach efforts to mariners and the shipping industry to raise awareness of the presence of cetaceans and encourage the use of mitigation measures to reduce disturbance; and, increased monitoring and sampling of air, sediment, and prey to measure levels of contaminants and assess trends. Summary of Recovery Activities Starting in 2018 and 2019, the Government of Canada implemented additional enhanced seasonal management measures to support the recovery of Southern Resident Killer Whales, including seasonal fisheries restrictions, interim sanctuary zones, and an increased approach distance for killer whales (all ecotypes) to 400 m in areas of Southern Resident Killer Whale critical habitat. These measures, along with voluntary measures being encouraged for the protection of killer whales, have both indirect and direct benefits for Transient Killer Whales.

Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

74 record(s) found.

Reports on the Progress of Recovery Document Implementation

  • Report on the Progress of Recovery Strategy Implementation for the Transient Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) in Canada (2020-12-21)

    West Coast Transients refer to the population of Transient Killer Whales that frequent Canadian Pacific waters. West Coast Transients were initially designated as Threatened by COSEWIC in 2001, and put on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) upon its inception (2002). In 2008, the population was again assessed as Threatened and remains on Schedule 1. West Coast Transients are comprised of two sub-populations: Inner Coast Transients, and Outer Coast Transients. Relatively little is known about the Outer Coast Transients due to the rarity of sightings of members of this sub-population. The Inner Coast Transients are more frequently encountered, and the bulk of the progress made towards the recovery of West Coast Transients has occurred with regard to the Inner Coast sub-population.

COSEWIC Status Reports

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Killer Whale, West Coast Transient population (2009-11-25)

    This population has a very small number of mature individuals (~122). It is subject to threats from high-levels of contaminants, acoustical and physical disturbance, and potential oil spills. However, the population has been increasing since the mid-1970s when monitoring began, and its prey base of pinnipeds and cetaceans is likely stable or increasing.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Transient Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) in Canada (2007-12-13)

    The ‘West Coast transient’ population of killer whales (Orcinus orca) is acoustically, genetically and culturally distinct from other killer whale populations known to occupy waters off the west coast of British Columbia. This population was designated as ‘threatened’ by COSEWIC in 2001, and currently numbers approximately 250 animals. Transient killer whales are long-lived upper trophic level predators that are considered to be at risk because of their small population size, their very low reproductive rate (one calf every five years) and their extremely high levels of chemical contaminants that are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic. Their high contaminant burdens, which have resulted from bioaccumulation in their prey, combined with other anthropogenic threats such as physical and acoustic disturbance, warrant their protection under the Species at Risk Act, and they are currently listed as Threatened.

Action Plans

  • Multi-species Action Plan for Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada (2018-08-01)

    The Multi-species Action Plan for Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada applies to lands and waters occurring within the boundaries of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (GINPR). The plan meets the requirements for action plans set out in the Species at Risk Act (SARA (s.47)) for species requiring an action plan that regularly occur at this site. Measures described in this plan will also provide benefits to other species of conservation concern that regularly occur at GINPR.
  • Multi-species Action Plan for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site (2016-07-04)

    The Multi-species Action Plan for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site meets the requirements for an action plan set out in the Species at Risk Act (SARA (s.47)) for species requiring an action plan that occur inside the boundary of the site. This action plan will be updated to more comprehensively include measures to conserve and recover the marine species at risk once the first integrated Land, Sea, People management plan for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve & Haida Heritage Site (hereafter called Gwaii Haanas) is complete. Measures described in this plan will also provide benefits for other species of conservation concern that regularly occur in Gwaii Haanas.
  • Multi-species Action Plan for Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada (2017-08-24)

    Backed by the Insular Mountain Range of Vancouver Island and facing the open Pacific Ocean, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada (Pacific Rim NPR) protects and presents the rich natural and cultural heritage of Canada's west coast. Pacific Rim NPR consists of three distinct units, the Long Beach Unit, Broken Group Islands Unit, and West Coast Trail Unit, each offering a range of unique visitor experiences. With significant areas (51,216 ha in total) of old growth, temperate rainforest, coastal dune systems, wetlands and foreshore, and marine habitats, the park demonstrates the interconnectedness between land, sea, and people. These natural wonders are interwoven with the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations culture (past and present), and that of European explorers and settlers.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2009 (2009-08-28)

    2009 Annual Report to the The Minister of the Environment and the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing licence(#14-PPAC-00029 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2014-06-19)

    The objective of this research is to estimate the abundance of the travel patterns, forage species and habitat use by cetaceans in and around Caamano Sound to Douglas Channel. Additionally, abundance data can support the possible identification of habitat that is critical to survival and recovery of the species. A previously established hydrophone network will be used to record whale calls and evaluate presence and activity. This work will also contribute to public education and awareness of the whales that inhabit the territory.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#14-PPAC-00031 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2014-06-19)

    This study will use photo, video and acoustic identification of individuals, wounds, incidents and behaviour to document seasonal prey preference, feeding techniques, abundance and distribution, and rates and responses to anthropogenic threats. Prey and fecal samples will be collected for health and diet assessment, and mobile and fixed hydrophones will collect acoustic samples.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#16-PPAC-00005 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2016-02-11)

    Authorized representatives from DFO, the Animal Health Center and the Vancouver Aquarium are licensed to collect for diagnostic purposes: all tissues, organ fluids and/or blood of dead salvaged parts or surplus material collected from dead marine mammals and turtles.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#18-PPAC-00022 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2018-04-19)

    The purpose of this research is to understand population trends, threats and foraging ecology of common cetaceans in BC including threatened Northern Resident and Transient killer whale populations, and fin whales.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#19-PPAC-00032 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2019-07-07)

    Investigate the impacts of anthropogenic activities on Killer Whales. Improved understanding of foraging behaviour and its vulnerability to impacts from human activities (e.g. interference from underwater noise) is beneficial to the conservation of this endangered species. Physiological impacts from nutritional stress and disturbance shall be investigated through biochemical analysis of Killer Whale tissue and fecal samples. Data obtained shall be used to increase the understanding of factors related to the behaviour, nutritional status and acoustic sensitivity of individuals in the Southern Resident Killer Whale population and provide valuable insight into how these individuals respond physiologically to changes in the acoustic environment and nutritional stress. The activities permitted under this license include the following: 1. Suction cup tag a maximum of 20 Northern Resident Killer Whales and 5 Southern Resident Killer Whales from an approach distance of no closer than 5 metres. 2. DFO Animal Care Committee's guidelines and approved Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Killer Whale suction cup tagging and close vessel approaches (Mar 2019) are to be followed at all times. 3. Engagement time within 100 metres is to be limited to 60 minutes per day per whale. 4. Robust and healthy appearing adults should be the priority for tagging. Animals under 3 years of age are not permitted to be tagged. Tagging efforts should be spread across matrilines to avoid disturbance of the same matrilines. 5. Where approach distance is within 100 metres, following or preceding a focal whale, monitor and record changes in behaviour and heading. If animal behaviour threshold criteria are met as per the SOP, tagging attempts for that animal must cease. 6. Remotely-operated drones are allowed for approach at no more than 20 metres close. Engagement time of research vessel, during drone operations within 100 metres, is limited to 30 minutes. Permitted unmanned aircraft vessel (UAV) activities must be separated by at least 8 km and may not target the same individuals or groups of animals concurrently. 7. No more than one permitted marine research vehicle may be within 100 metres of the same individual or group of Killer Whales at the same time. 8. If information becomes available that individual Killer Whales have health issues where additional research may contribute to further impacts on the animal or population, this license may be amended or cancelled by DFO.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#19-PPAC-00034 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2019-07-07)

    The study aims at determining sound propagation (detectability over distance) for Killer Whale calls within their habitat including natural and anthropogenic noise conditions. The activities permitted under this license shall assess Killer Whale vocalization ranges, which vary by location, habitat and times of the year. The study aims at better understanding the impact of noise on vocalization ranges and to determine optimal locations for passive killer whale acoustic monitoring stations. Simulated sounds including calls of Killer Whales shall be projected underwater from a stationary source and recorded via hydrophones at various distances and different angles from the source via a mobile platform (small vessel). This information will also be used to determine the optimal locations for passive acoustic monitoring and tracking of whales. The activities permitted under this license include the following: 1. Simulated sounds including calls of Killer Whales may be projected underwater from a stationery source (anchored vessel) via an underwater sound projector suspended at a fixed depth of either 10 or 25 m and recorded via two or more hydrophones at various distances and different angles. 2. Sound projection shall not be conducted when cetaceans are present within 5km of the recording and sound projection vessel. 3. The area is to be monitored visually and acoustically for cetaceans for 30 minutes prior to acoustic trials to ensure that no cetaceans are present within 5 km. If cetaceans are present within 5 km, acoustic trials must be delayed or stopped and monitoring for an additional 30 minutes shall continue before acoustic trials can be reinitiated.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#19-PPAC-00036 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2019-07-07)

    A comparative study to determine whether Southern Resident Killer Whales are in poor health, and are food limited in the Salish Sea. Prey abundance and presence will be measured using hydroacoustics, while foraging behaviour will be quantified using drones. A limited number of Northern Resident and Transient killer whales will be tagged using short-term suction cup tags.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#20-PPAC-00016 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2020-05-01)

    Using a non-invasive drone, aerial photographs will be collected of killer whales to perform photogrammetry analyses of growth trends and body condition. The primary focus will be on furthering the photogrammetry time series, first started in 2008, on endangered Southern Resident killer whales to support management in their efforts to maintain an adequate food supply in Canada and the U.S. A second photogrammetry time series (since 2014) of other Northeast Pacific killer whale populations, notably Transients, will be continued to provide comparisons.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#20-PPAC-00017 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2020-06-01)

    A comparison of the relative impacts of nutrition and toxicant exposure on reproduction of the Southern Resident killer whales, Bigg's Transient killer whales and baleen whales using non-invasive measures of analyzing hormone metabolites and toxicants from fecal sample collection.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#20-PPAC-00018 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2020-07-01)

    Southern Resident Killer Whales face a variety of threats in the Salish Sea including reduced prey availability, and increased noise levels and vessel traffic. This study is an investigation of disturbance risk factors on Southern Resident Killer Whales through evaluation of sub-surface behaviour and activity using suction cup tags. Relative daily foraging rates and received noise levels will be quantified and compared to data collected from Northern Resident Killer Whales. Additional health and diet data of killer whales and humpback whales will be collected and analyzed through predation event and fecal sample collection.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#20-PPAC-00019 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2020-05-01)

    Parks Canada is a dedicated partner in the Government of Canada's efforts to support the recovery of Southern Resident Killer Whales and health of all marine mammals. Parks Canada will perform surveys and monitor activity within, and adjacent to, the marine waters of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve in an effort to contribute to overall understanding of presence, population size, and use of critical habitat by Southern Resident Killer Whales and other marine mammals.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#20-PPAC-00020 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2020-05-01)

    Parks Canada is a dedicated partner in the Government of Canada's efforts to support the recovery of Southern Resident Killer Whales and health of all marine mammals. Parks Canada will perform surveys and monitor activity within, and adjacent to, the marine waters of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve in an effort to contribute to overall understanding of presence, population size, and use of critical habitat by Southern Resident Killer Whales and other marine mammals. Closest approach distance for photo identification is 200m for killer whales and 40m for other cetaceans. Acoustic samplings using a portable hydrophone is permitted to a minimum of 200m to killer whales or 100m of other cetaceans. Vessel approach must maintain a 3-4 knot speed and stay behind or to the side of any individual or group of whales. Vessel engines and depth sounders must be off while collecting acoustic samples. Engagement time is limited to 30 minutes per whale, per day.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#20-PPAC-00021 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2020-08-01)

    The purpose of this study is to quantify the usage of the Salish Sea region by Transient (Bigg's) killer whales by establishing a behavioural budget, assessing their acoustic repertoire, and documenting predation events. Prey type and frequency of predation will supplement ongoing modeling work to establish a baseline of Transient's usage of regional marine mammal populations. As pinniped culling programs are being proposed, it is especially important to understand this predator-prey relationship, and the potential consequences of reduced pinniped availability.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#DFO-PAF SARA 100 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2009-06-01)

    The Licensee is authorized to conduct aerial and boat-based surveys of marine mammals. This research is part of the wildlife baseline studies to help inform the consequences of a potential development of a small port near Kitsault.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#DFO-PAF SARA 102 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2009-05-15)

    A comparison of the relative impacts of nutrition and toxicant exposure on reproduction of Southern Resident killer whales using non-invasive measures of analyzing hormone metabolites and toxicants from fecal sample collection.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#DFO-PAF SARA 104 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2009-07-14)

    The Licensee is authorized to collect fecal samples from killer whales for assessment of stress hormone levels in response to increased anthropogenic threats. These efforts are undertaken in collaboration with the University of Washington and their research into a larger fecal thyroid hormone assessment of Southern Resident Killer Whales. The secondary objective is to collect photographs of marine mammals on an opportunistic basis in Inside Passage waters. This study will continue ongoing photo identification efforts in collaboration with DFO researchers and others in the Pacific region.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#DFO-PAF SARA 106), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2010-01-01)

    Authorized representatives from DFO, the Animal Health Center and the Vancouver Aquarium are licensed to collect for diagnostic purposes: all tissues, organ fluids and/or blood of dead salvaged parts or surplus material collected from dead marine mammals and turtles.
  • >> See more Permits and Related Agreements documents

Recovery Document Posting Plans

  • Recovery Document Posting Plan - Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Fiscal Year 2016-2017 (2018-09-28)

    Under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), the competent Minister(s) must prepare a recovery strategy within one year of listing a species on Schedule 1 of SARA as endangered and within two years of listing a species as extirpated or threatened. A management plan must be prepared within three years for a species listed as special concern. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is accountable for 111 of the 518 species listed under SARA. As of February 2016, proposed recovery strategies, management plans and action plans for 57 of those species have not yet been posted to the Species at Risk Public Registry. An additional 23 aquatic species have proposed management or action plans coming due in the future. The following outlines the Department’s plan for posting proposed documents for 64 species on the Species at Risk Public Registry. The Department has a plan to post recovery strategies for 9 species, management plans for 13 species, and action plans for 42 species over the next year. Original publication of the Recovery Document Posting Plan: 2016-05-02
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