Sooke Forum, a group of volunteer Sooke citizens, is organizing a public talk on Tuesday, January 29 , 7:00 pm at Edward Milne Community School to raise awareness about the survival of our Southern Resident Orcas.
With only 74 Southern Resident Killer Whales remaining, down from 97 in 1996, their future looks desperate. The three major threats to the Orca’s survival include: pollutants, declining Chinook salmon their principal food, and noise from recreational and commercial vessels.
So dire is the situation, DFO has announced $61 million in funding to protect the endangered southern residents – on top of a previously announced $167 million to improve prey availability and reduce disturbance of the whales.
Is enough being done?
Sooke residents know these whales as regular visitors – they symbolize what we value about living on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. These Orcas are important to us culturally, economically, and are key indicators of the health of our local waters. We all want future generations to have the privilege to see these whales in healthy numbers.
A panel of speakers will address the question: Can we help endangered Orcas by protecting salmon, reducing pollution and making our waters quieter?
Guest Speaker Dr. Lauren McWhinnie (University of Victoria) will give an engaging talk on her research into the impact of vessel noise on the key life functions southern residents – interfering with their ability to communicate, forage and navigate.
Representatives from DFO and the Orca Rescue Society have been invited as Panel Members to offer their perspective as well.
Following the speakers, there will be an opportunity for audience questions and comments.
DAY OF EVENT: Tuesday, January 29
TIME: 7:00 pm
LOCATION: Edward Milne Community School, Theatre, Sooke
Free Admission; donations gladly accepted to defray the theatre rental cost.