Demonstrators marching through downtown Nanaimo

Demonstrators marching through downtown Nanaimo calling for more protection for Southern Resident Killer Whales.

Over 100 demonstrators marched through downtown Nanaimo Saturday morning to raise awareness of the endangered southern resident killer whales.

“Save Us Now Southern Resident Killer Whales” hosted the march from Terminal Avenue and Gordon Street to Maffeo Sutton Park.

The group says they support the recovery of Chinook salmon, and say the public outcry is in response to the federal government’s recent denial of an Emergency Order to save the southern resident killer whales from extinction.

“It’s a critical time but I dont feel its a point where we can’t do anything,” said Gregg Mcelroy, one of the directors of the Canadian Orca Rescue Society.

“I think there is an awakening out in Canada, and the people are becoming concerned that their environment is under siege, they are seeing it in their own waterways.”

The group marched chanting “save the orcas” and “salmon for the orcas.”

They say decades of international scientific research correlate their plight with the decimation of their primary prey: Chinook salmon.

The southern residents made headlines over the last few months following incidents like the death of L92, and J35 carrying her dead calf for 17 days. 

The federal government has initiated measures such as temporary fishing closures and over $60 million for conservation efforts.

CHEK News