American regulations that limit vessel noise and traffic around endangered killer whales off the West Coast are working, a new study says.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, said in its review of regulations adopted in 2011 that the changes are benefiting southern resident orcas without having negative effects on the local whale watching and tourism industries.
The southern residents that ply the waters off British Columbia and Washington state are listed as endangered species in the United States and a species at risk in Canada.
The last census in July showed there were just 77 whales in the three pods that make up the population known to use the Salish Sea that includes the straits of Georgia, Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound.
“There is great concern right now about this population. There has been a loss of too many whales in the last six months to a year,” Michael …
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