Harold Van Doren, in his letter to the editor a few weeks ago, makes a very good point that I’d like to reiterate: Orcas have few choices. We, as humans, have many. I’m asking our local whale watch operators kindly, but with passion, to please choose to pursue healthy populations of transient Orcas, Humpbacks and other marine mammals and leave our resident Orcas alone, so this imperiled group can more effectively pursue what few salmon are left to sustain them.
The Governor’s Orca Task force suggested this approach last fall but it was met with heavy resistance. And, unfortunately, despite having thousands of signatures, the Orca Initiative was struck down.
I can appreciate the complexity of Orca recovery. Simply leaving them alone may not ensure their survival, but it can’t hurt the whales. And I appreciate that whale watch companies and their employees need income for themselves and families. But back to Harold’s point: we, as humans, can adapt. Resident Orcas have few choices. Let’s do the right thing here.
Paul S. Henriksen