Canadian, U.S. agencies race to save starving orca in B.C. coastal waters

The story of the southern resident J-pod orcas, and the mom mourning her lifeless calf, has drawn consideration from world wide.

Now, one of many different calves in the identical pod is ravenous, and the U.S. Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is working with Fisheries and Oceans Canada on a plan to reserve it.

J-50 is a four-year-old orca who’s exhibiting indicators of malnourishment and lethargy, in accordance with Michael Milstein, a public affairs officer with NOAA, who has been following the pod intently since the news of the calf’s death.

There are 75 endangered southern resident killer whales remaining within the space that swim the straits and sounds across the the coastal waters from British Columbia to Northern California, making the well being of this whale a really pressing subject, Millstein informed The Early Edition’s Stephen Quinn.

The DFO did introduce new guidelines in July for whale watching companies, which embody fines of as much as $500,000 for boats that fail to remain 200 metres away from killer whales on the West Coast in an effort to guard the endangered orcas.

However he stated J-50 is their precedence proper now, they usually’re each brief and long run measures to assist the whales.

Milstein says scientists are contemplating a plan that will contain feeding the underweight killer whale chinook salmon with treatment in it — a technique the U.S. division believes hasn’t been used earlier than.

“We do not know at this level if an try to supply meals or treatment within the type of meals, would achieve success,” he stated.

“We wish to go into this with our eyes open, in a scenario the place we might create a whale that is depending on us for meals, that is not going to do anybody any good.”

An absence of meals is barely one of many causes southern resident whales are struggling, stated Millstein, who talked about noise from marine visitors and air pollution as elements which strongly impression the orcas’ well being.

“We actually want to consider these different elements as a result of noise, as an illustration, even when there’s meals, if there’s an excessive amount of noise they usually cannot use their echolocation to seek out that meals, it would not make a complete lot of distinction.”

Milstein says step one is observing the whale to pinpoint her illnesses with drone footage and by gathering fecal and breath samples from her blow gap.

He says scientists are out on the water right this moment looking for the pod however are having bother because it was final seen heading towards open water.

To listen to the complete interview hearken to media under:

The story of the Southern resident J-pod orcas, and the mom mourning her lifeless calf, has drawn consideration from world wide. Now, one of many different calves in the identical pod is ravenous, and the U.S. Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is working with Fisheries and Oceans Canada on a plan to reserve it. 5:36

With information from The Early Edition, The Canadian Press

Read more from CBC British Columbia 

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