Salt Spring Adventure Co Ltd. is pleased to announce our new Whale Watching Laws that have started on June 1st! These laws are LONG overdue, and are the first step in helping our Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) survive and thrive in our region.
We want to educate the locals and the tourists about these new laws to ensure they are being followed, and to inform everyone about the reasoning behind these important laws.
For more information, please come talk to us! We have brochures about the new laws and are happy to chat about them and the local environmental issues, always!
Our SRKW are the Salmon eating Orca of our region. They have been in decline for many years now, as their only food source is salmon, which have been reducing in numbers for decades on our coast due to fishing pressure as well as the degradation of the rivers and estuaries where they breed.
In contrast we have more healthy Transient Orca than ever in our region, which eat mammals like seals, sea lions, and porpoise. These Orca have been moving into our region, replacing our SRKW, as they have moved onto other coastal areas to search for salmon.
We also have a large amount of Humpback Whales that have moved back into our region over the last decade, bringing new calves yearly to feed. Scientists surmise these whales are moving from other areas that are being affected by climate change, moving here where the food is.
Salt Spring Adventure Company has been focusing on viewing these Transient Orca and Humpback whales for a couple years now for our whale watching tours, as we feel there is no need to view our SRKW that need all the help they can get. Now there are actual laws which protect them!! We have always focused on an environmental approach to whale watching, making sure we abide by all the laws which are created by DFO and the Pacific Whale Watching Association, who created the Whale Watching Guidelines many years ago. We feel we have a captive audience on our tours, and we make sure that every client learns about the issues our region faces, and how they can make a difference as individuals.
We are Nature Lovers, and we work directly with researchers and local enforcement to ensure whale safety and passing on critical sighting information, as well as entanglements etc. We also donate annually to the Centre For Whale Research who are the leading Researchers for our SRKW for over 40 years.
Our laws in the Salish Sea are now focusing on protecting all our Orca. PWWA member have pledged to not view SRKW at all, and we are allowed to view Transient Orca at 200 metres. All other boats now have to stay 400 metres away from ALL Orca, as most people are unable to differentiate between transient Orca and SRKW. There are also No Go Zones in the region that were created to protect critical habitat for the SRKW.
To learn more about the New laws, please visit https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/species-especes/mammals-mammiferes/watching-observation/index-eng.html
Our enforcement in the Salish Sea to make sure these laws are upheld now have more funding than ever! They include: Department Of Fisheries, NOAA, Sound Watch, Strait Watch, RCMP, San Juan Sheriff, Canadian Coast Guard, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. There are even planes which cover the Coast, which have high powered cameras and video for enforcement!
Come Adventure With Us!