Restoring salmon runs, not politics, will save southern resident killer whales

The only real solution for reversal of the downhill trend in Chinook salmon size and abundance, and for the southern resident killer whale population, is to recover the natural wild runs of Chinook and their supporting ecosystems as soon as possible. Hatchery fish will not do the job of nature — the fish are produced in factories for human harvest at great cost, and if they return to natural spawning beds they dilute the finely adapted genetics of the native wild salmon. Furthermore, by continuing a factory-fish harvest economy that is ecologically absurd, they are further risking by-catch of natural wild salmon that have co-evolved for millennia with the fish-eating whales. Of course, the

Where Have the Southern Residents Been?

​If the presence (or absence) of the Southern Resident killer whales in what is supposed to be their “core summer habitat” is a measure of how well that habitat (officially designated as Critical Habitat) provides the benefits and protections the whales need, the whales are not giving the area a passing grade. The Southern Resident killer whales were missing from their “core summer habit” for two months from early May until early July. Their unprecedented absence at this time of the year has many wondering where the residents have been and whether or not they have been seen. Yes, while the whales were conspicuously absent from the “core summer habitat” in recent months, members of the J, K

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