Event Title

Vessel trends and boater education in trans-boundary SRKW Critical Habitat

Presentation Abstract

In 2005, the Southern Resident killer whales were listed as a distinct population and as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. NOAA Fisheries' Recovery Plan identified disturbance and sound associated with vessels as a primary threat to the Southern Resident killer whales and called for an evaluation of current viewing guidelines and assessment of the need for regulations and/or protected areas. On April 8, 2011, NOAA Fisheries announced vessel regulations to protect Southern Resident killer whales from vessel disturbance. The laws came into effect on May 16th, 2011 and apply to all types of vessels, including motor boats, sail boats, kayaks and paddle boards, in Washington State's inland waters. Since 1998, The Whale Museum’s Soundwatch boater education program has collected data characterizing vessel activities near Southern Resident killer whales. Despite expanded outreach efforts through the trans-boundary Be Whale Wise partnership with Straitwatch and DFO, the implementation of Washington State's vessel laws for killer whales in 2012 and an increased presence of law enforcement on the water, data trends portray vessel operators routinely out of compliance with guidelines and laws and an increase in the number of people whale watching throughout the whales' summer range. The Soundwatch boater education program presentation will highlight these vessel activity trends, show high use zones in the trans-boundary region and the effort to increase boater awareness. Annual data trends are used by the whale watch associations, local, state and federal governments to improve and analyze the guidelines and laws for killer whales.

Session Title

Habitat

Conference Track

Salish Sea Snapshots

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Document Type

Event

Location

2016SSEC

Type of Presentation

Snapshot

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Comments

Be Whale Wise guidelines and Laws: www.bewhalewise.org

Washington State Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Killer Whale laws: http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/orca/

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Vessel trends and boater education in trans-boundary SRKW Critical Habitat

2016SSEC

In 2005, the Southern Resident killer whales were listed as a distinct population and as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. NOAA Fisheries' Recovery Plan identified disturbance and sound associated with vessels as a primary threat to the Southern Resident killer whales and called for an evaluation of current viewing guidelines and assessment of the need for regulations and/or protected areas. On April 8, 2011, NOAA Fisheries announced vessel regulations to protect Southern Resident killer whales from vessel disturbance. The laws came into effect on May 16th, 2011 and apply to all types of vessels, including motor boats, sail boats, kayaks and paddle boards, in Washington State's inland waters. Since 1998, The Whale Museum’s Soundwatch boater education program has collected data characterizing vessel activities near Southern Resident killer whales. Despite expanded outreach efforts through the trans-boundary Be Whale Wise partnership with Straitwatch and DFO, the implementation of Washington State's vessel laws for killer whales in 2012 and an increased presence of law enforcement on the water, data trends portray vessel operators routinely out of compliance with guidelines and laws and an increase in the number of people whale watching throughout the whales' summer range. The Soundwatch boater education program presentation will highlight these vessel activity trends, show high use zones in the trans-boundary region and the effort to increase boater awareness. Annual data trends are used by the whale watch associations, local, state and federal governments to improve and analyze the guidelines and laws for killer whales.