Nov. 18, 2020

SUFB 1083: Navy Has Permission To "Take" Endangered Orca Population

SUFB 1083: Navy Has Permission To "Take" Endangered Orca Population

The Southern Resident Orca Population is considered endangered in the US and Canada with less than 75 individuals left in the population. The reasons for this low number vary from being caught for marine theme parks such as SeaWorld in the 1960s-70s,...


The Southern Resident Orca Population is considered endangered in the US and Canada with less than 75 individuals left in the population. The reasons for this low number vary from being caught for marine theme parks such as SeaWorld in the 1960s-70s, the lack of salmon as the Orca population only eat salmon, and water pollution (including plastic pollution) that cause a build-up of toxic chemicals in their bodies. These factors require specific protections for the Orcas. 

So it is quite surprising when the Navy is approved for drills in the area frequented by the Southern Resident Orca Population off the coast of Washington State. Navy drills are not new and are normally approved to "take" 1 or 2 marine mammals per year; however, now they are approved to "take" 51 Orcas per year until the year 2027. Will the Navy "take" this many? Probably not, but if they did, it would be okay. Unfortunately for the Orca population, it would result in the extirpation. 

What is "take" you ask? To "take" a marine mammal means the attempted or actual harassment, hunting, capturing, or killing of any marine mammal. Normally, marine mammals such as Orcas are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act; however, the Navy has special approvals. Some of the drills that will be conducted will be firing torpedoes and projectiles, detonating bombs, piloting undersea drones, and using sonar. 

It seems as though animal protection in the US means nothing unless it doesn't get in the way of the military or businesses. Do you agree?

Link To Article:

https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/military/article247078902.html

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