Today, the federal government announced $9.1 million in new science funding to develop and test technologies able to detect the presence of whales. The ability to capture near real-time information could help alert mariners of whales in a particular area, reducing the risk of collisions.
About the Southern Resident Killer Whale, excerpt from Wikipedia:
The southern residents have reportedly been seen off the coast of Oregon, Washington, and Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Recently, they have been spotted as far south as the coast of central California and as far north as the coast of Haida Gwaii. During the spring, summer, and fall, the southern residents tend to travel around the inland waterways of Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and southern Georgia Strait. Little is known about their range and movements during the winter months.
It also announced over $3.1 million for four research projects to study the impacts of underwater noise and reduced availability of prey on marine mammals including the Southern Resident Killer Whale.
- The University of British Columbia will receive $1.1 million to examine how changes in the food web in areas of the Southern Resident Killer Whale affect the abundance and quality of Chinook Salmon, which is the whale’s primary food source.
- Ocean Wise will receive over $942,000 for a comprehensive health and condition assessment of Southern and Northern Resident Killer Whale populations to better understand the impact of environmental stressors, particularly noise and prey limitation.
- The University of Victoria will receive over $935,000 to better understand the behaviour and vulnerabilities of Southern Resident Killer Whales and their prey.
- The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority will receive $200,000 to continue operating the underwater listening station in the Strait of Georgia, measuring and monitoring noise levels from commercial vessels and the presence of Southern Resident Killer Whales in the Salish Sea.
In addition to these significant investments under the Oceans Protection Plan, Budget 2018 includes $167.4 million over five years to help protect and recover endangered whale species in Canada, notably the Southern Resident Killer Whale, the North Atlantic Right Whale and the St. Lawrence Estuary Beluga. This includes funding for science activities to help better understand factors affecting the health of whale populations, as well as actions to help address the threats arising from human activities.