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Killer Whale Recovery on Puget Sound
Monday, May 16, 2011 - 12:00am to Friday, May 20, 2011 - 12:00am

Executive Seminar Program Case Study #3

Friday Harbor, Washington

Killer whales are symbols of the Pacific Northwest and have been the focus of tremendous public interest and extensive scientific study.  In 2005, NOAA Fisheries Service designated the Southern Resident stock of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Puget Sound as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and released a final recovery plan in 2008. This plan identifies numerous factors for decline, including significant reduction in their main prey, salmon, water pollution, especially PCBs and DDT residues, noise from vessels, and boater harassment.  The plan proposes measures for restoring orca populations to optimal sustainable levels and refers to significant local, state and regional actions to recover salmon populations, clean up of Puget Sound and minimize vessel impacts.  Recently, proposed regulations to protect orcas from the effects of various vessel activities have been quite controversial.  This case study will examine the challenges faced by U. S. and Canadian government agencies, Pacific Northwest states, advocacy groups, tribes and other entities in implementing meaningful recovery actions for this wide ranging and charismatic species.

This is the third session of the year-long Executive Seminar Program.  For more information, e-mail Christine Hanolsy or call 503-725-5114.