Updates from NOAA on killer whales, including comment period on proposed Canadian regulations

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released several items of interest regarding orcas. They include: Sighting further north than previous thought, progress report on stranding of L112, update on satellite project, and proposed regulations by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).

Known range extended 200 miles

A recent review of photos by DFO scientists have confirmed that Southern Resident killer whales were sighted in Chatham Strait, Southeast Alaska, back in June 2007. Southern Residents were previously thought to range as far north as the Queen Charlotte Islands, B. C. This sighting extends their known range about 200 miles to the north.

L112 stranding investigation progress report

The investigation into the death of Southern Resident killer whale L112 continues. We posted a progress report on our website at http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/Marine-Mammals/Whales-Dolphins-Porpoise/Killer-Whales/upload/L112-Prgrs-Rpt.pdf. We’ll continue to provide updates as we get the results from outstanding analyses and generate a final report.

Update on satellite tagging project

The Northwest Fisheries Science Center has updated website information on the three-day deployment of a tag on J26: www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/research/divisions/cbd/marine_mammal/satellite_tagging.cfm

Canadian marine mammal regulations As the federal department responsible for the protection of marine mammals, their habitats, and their migration routes in Canadian waters, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has finalized a set of proposed amendments to the Marine Mammal Regulations (MMR) of the Fisheries Act. The amendments are designed to provide enhanced protection for marine mammals against human disturbances.

The proposed regulatory amendments were published on March 24, 2012, in the Canada Gazette, Part I. The Canada Gazette is the official newspaper of the Government of Canada. See it online at: www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2012/2012-03-24/html/reg2-eng.html The public has 60 days from the publication date to provide comments on the proposed amendments.

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