Species Profile

Killer Whale Northeast Pacific northern resident population

Scientific Name: Orcinus orca
Other/Previous Names: Killer Whale (Northeast Pacific northern resident population),Killer Whale (Northern Resident 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 of the recent and apparently ongoing increase in mature individuals.
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: The population is small, and is limited by the availability of its principal prey, Chinook Salmon. It is also at risk from physical and acoustical disturbance, oil spills and contaminants.  However, this population has been increasing slowly but steadily since monitoring began in 1975.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: The “North Pacific resident populations” were given a single designation of Threatened in April 1999. Split into three populations in November 2001. The Northeast Pacific northern resident population was designated Threatened in November 2001. Status re-examined and confirmed 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 | Recovery Team | 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, measuring at maximum about seven metres and four tonnes. The first sight of a Killer Whale is usually the iconic triangular dorsal fin, up to 1.8 metres in height for males, and less than one metre for females and juveniles. Three distinct groups, or ecotypes, of Killer Whale inhabit Canadian Pacific waters, each exhibiting different prey preferences, dialects and social organization. These ecotypes –Bigg’s (Transient), Offshore, and Resident – are believed to be socially and genetically isolated, despite sharing the same waters. Resident Killer Whales feed exclusively on fish (primarily Chinook and Chum Salmon) and cephalopods, while Bigg’s Killer Whales feed primarily on marine mammals. Offshore Killer Whales are the least understood of the three ecotypes, but are believed to primarily consume fish, with shark species comprising a significant part of their diet.

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Distribution and Population

The Resident Killer Whale ecotype is comprised of two distinct populations: the Northern Residents and the Southern Residents. Although members of these two populations may overlap in range, they have not been observed to interact and genetic studies suggest that the two populations rarely-if ever-interbreed. The Northern Residents range from southeastern Alaska down to southern Washington State. The greatest majority of encounters are from the coastal waters of the Canadian Pacific. A portion of the population is regularly found in Johnstone Strait and southeastern part of Queen Charlotte Strait (and adjoining channels) during the summer and fall. The Northern Resident population has grown steadily in size since the 1970s, and in 2014 the population numbered 290 individuals. Over the last forty years, the population has experienced an average annual growth rate of 2.2%; however, lingering conservation concerns exist for this population, given its small population size and low potential rate of increase.

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Habitat

Killer whales have been observed in all oceans of the world, but they generally concentrate in colder regions and in areas of high productivity. They are found in all three of Canada's oceans, but appear to be less common in the Atlantic and Arctic. In the Canadian Pacific, they have been observed throughout almost all marine waters, including many long inlets, narrow channels and deep embayments, as well as occasionally up brackish river channels. Northern Resident Killer Whales frequent the waters of Johnstone Strait and southeastern Queen Charlotte Strait on most days during July through October. Perhaps the most important aspect of habitat for the Northern Resident Killer Whale is the availability of prey. Northern Resident Killer Whales are dietary specialists, feeding primarily on fish. Chinook Salmon (Onchorhynchus tshawytscha) is the predominant prey species taken by resident populations during May to August, but Chum Salmon (O. keta) is more prevalent in their diet from September to October. The acoustic environment is also an important element of their habitat; an ocean quiet enough for the transmission and reception of their echolocation clicks and vocalizations is essential for navigation, foraging, cultural and social purposes. A behavior unique to the Northern Residents is “beach rubbing”, where whales enter relatively shallow habitats to rub against pebble substrate on sloping shores. When undertaking this behaviour, they are very sensitive to disturbance. Critical habitat is described in the Recovery Strategy for the Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) in Canada (http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/document/default_e.cfm-documentID=1341).

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Biology

Killer Whales are delineated into ecotypes, between which distinct prey preferences and unique vocal dialects have led to reproductive isolation and genetically distinct lineages. This cultural and reproductive isolation may also occur within an ecotype, where lineages may share similar prey preferences and habitat but exhibit different vocal dialects, as seen in the Northern and Southern Resident lineages. As a result of over 40 years of study, the life history characteristics of Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales are well known compared to all other ecotypes. Both males and females reach sexual maturity at 15 years of age on average. The gestation period of Killer Whales is typically 16 to 17 months, and the interval between calving is usually about five years (ranging from 2 to 12 years). Length of calves at birth ranges from 2.2 to 2.6 metres. Calving occurs year round, but appears to peak between fall and spring. Mortality rates vary with age; mortality from birth to six months of age has been estimated as being as high as 50%. The average life expectancy is about 50 years for females and 29 years for males.

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Threats

The greatest threats to Northern Resident Killer Whales include a reduction in prey availability; exposure to contaminants from prey; toxic spills; acute acoustic disturbance (e.g. mid-frequency active sonar, seismic surveying, marine construction); and masking of vocalization and echolocation required for navigation, foraging, cultural and social purposes. Chronic acoustic disturbance, physical disturbance, interactions with commercial fisheries and aquaculture, direct killing and climate change are other human-related threats that have potential to jeopardize the Northern Resident Killer Whale population. Natural factors may also impact the survival of Northern Resident Killer Whales: diseases, fixed dietary preferences and corresponding decreases in prey supply, inbreeding depression (i.e. the genetic deterioration of the population due to breeding of related individuals), and mass stranding or natural entrapment. How current threats may act synergistically to impact Killer Whales is unknown, but in other species, multiple stressors have been shown to have strong negative and often lethal effects, particularly when animals carry elevated levels of environmental contaminants.

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Killer Whale, Northeast Pacific northern resident 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.

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 Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) in Canada (Final)
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Recovery Team

Pacific Region Species at Risk Program

  • DFO Pacific Region - MPO région du Pacifique - Chair/Contact - Fisheries and Oceans Canada
     Send Email

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Recovery Progress and Activities

A final Recovery Strategy for the Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) in was posted on the SARA Registry in 2011. A report on the progress of implementation of that Recovery Strategy is forthcoming. The objectives outlined in the Recovery Strategy form the basis for the Action Plan, which provides advice on specific activities or measures needed for recovery. Since 1973, Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Nanaimo, British Columbia-based Cetacean Research Program has been conducting annual research on the populations and habitat use of Killer Whales. Significant progress has been made toward meeting many of the objectives and strategies outlined in the Recovery Strategy, including progress toward better understanding the year-round distribution, habitat use, and prey requirements of Resident Killer Whales, as well as the impacts of threats on them. Photo identification catalogues have been updated and annual censuses are ongoing. Population models have been updated for both Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales, and a greater understanding of the demographics, interactions, and interdependencies between and within matrilines has been achieved. A transboundary effort was undertaken to examine the relationship between indices of Chinook salmon abundance and Resident Killer Whale populations; investigations into seasonal and annual dietary requirements are ongoing. Identification of contaminant levels in Killer Whales, their prey, and in sentinel species such as the Harbour Seal informed the development of a PCB food web bioaccumulation model. Evaluation of the Killer Whale acoustic environment, including noise maps and sound signatures for various vessel classes, has provided invaluable information about the quality of Killer Whale acoustic environment in different areas. Field research provides information on potential acoustic impacts to Killer Whales, and informs ongoing efforts toward the development of thresholds and effective mitigation protocols. These examples serve to illustrate the efforts undertaken to understand threats, characterize impacts, and develop effective mitigation in pursuit of Resident Killer Whale recovery. The effects of the recovery effort on a long-lived species are not likely to be immediately evident. Over the last 40 years, the Northern Resident Killer Whale population has experienced an average growth rate of 2.2%. Based on their low reproductive rate, recovery of Northern Resident Killer Whales can be expected to take multiple generations. Fisheries and Oceans Canada maintains an ongoing commitment toward the recovery of this species.

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.

86 record(s) found.

Reports on the Progress of Recovery Document Implementation

COSEWIC Status Reports

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Killer Whale, Northern Resident Population (2009-11-25)

    The population is small, and is limited by the availability of its principal prey, Chinook Salmon. It is also at risk from physical and acoustical disturbance, oil spills and contaminants.  However, this population has been increasing slowly but steadily since monitoring began in 1975.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) in Canada (2018-12-05)

    Two distinct populations of Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca), known as the Northern and Southern Residents, occupy the waters off the west coast of Canada. In 2001, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) designated Southern Resident Killer Whales as Endangered and Northern Resident Killer Whales as Threatened. Both populations are listed in Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). These two populations are acoustically, genetically, and culturally distinct. The “Recovery Strategy for the Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) in Canada” was finalized and published on the Species at Risk Public Registry in 2008. Minor amendments to the Recovery Strategy were made in 2011 to provide additional clarification regarding critical habitat for Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales. The Recovery Strategy was amended again in 2018 to include identification of additional critical habitat for these populations, to provide clarification of the features, functions, and attributes for all Resident Killer Whale critical habitat, and to provide minor updates to background and species information.

Action Plans

  • Action Plan for the Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) in Canada (2017-03-09)

    The Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) were listed as Threatened and Endangered, respectively, under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2003. This Action Plan is considered one in a series of documents that are linked and should be taken into consideration together, including the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) status report, a recovery potential assessment, and the Recovery Strategy.
  • 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.

Critical Habitat Statements

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(#16-PPAC-00015 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2017-01-01)

    A non-intrusive study comparing passive acoustics collection methods to estimate cetacean density with true population. The research aims to advance key aspects of acoustic density estimation methods through survey design and a planned placement of underwater receivers, with a focus on robust and affordable methods. The project will attempt to test the bias and precision of existing methods to estimate key parameters of acoustic density estimation: detection probability and metrics related to call production. In doing so, the results from this study will help to assess the efficacy of these methods, that have been implemented throughout important cetacean habitats in Canada's Pacific waters, and around the world.
  • 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(#18-PPAC-00025 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2018-06-28)

    Orcas are very sensitive to sound, sudden movement and structures such as sun shades, driftwood buildings, and beach furniture that are too close to the rubbing area. Any loud noises such as screaming, running and dogs barking all contribute to the possibility of an aborted rub and may deter Orca from their natural behaviour. The study is aimed at reducing any kind of disturbing by humans on or off beach by educating people towards responsible wildlife viewing. Authorization to passively observe and monitor underwater seascape for Northern Resident Killer Whales. The activities permitted under this license include the following: 1. Completion of a visual photo identification; 2. Record audio calls from hydro phone; 3. Land-based educational research.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#19-PPAC-00028 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2019-07-07)

    Orcas are very sensitive to sound, sudden movement and structures such as sun shades, driftwood buildings, and beach furniture that are too close to the rubbing area. Any loud noises such as screaming, running and dogs barking all contribute to the possibility of an aborted rub and may deter Orca from their natural behaviour. The study is aimed at reducing any kind of disturbing by humans on or off beach by educating people towards responsible wildlife viewing. Authorization to passively observe and monitor underwater seascape for Northern Resident Killer Whales. The activities permitted under this license include the following: 1. Completion of a visual photo identification; 2. Record audio calls from hydro phone; 3. Land-based educational research.
  • 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-00035 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2019-06-03)

    This study aims to understand whether prey abundance and accessibility affect the decline of the southern resident killer whale population. It will examine the prey habitat characteristics of southern resident killer whales using hydroacoustics, and compare with those of the northern resident killer whales. Explicit comparison of prey dynamics between the two killer whale populations using ship-based hydroacoustics surveys and focal follows will provide insights into the relative difference in prey field available to the endangered southern resident population.
  • 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-00022 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2020-07-01)

    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, and foraging behaviour of Southern Resident and Northern Resident Killer Whales will be quantified using drones and short-term suction-cup tags.
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Critical Habitat Orders

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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