Transport Canada has announced measures to protect endangered southern resident killer whales, including expanded closures for commercial and recreational salmon fisheries in parts of the Salish Sea where the orcas feed.
The department says two new slowdown areas co-developed with Pacheedaht First Nation will take effect on June 1 and last until the end of November, restricting vessels to a maximum speed of 10 knots in an area near the western entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
For the third consecutive year, it says vessels must stay at least 400 metres away from all killer whales in southern B.C. waters between Campbell River and Ucluelet, a measure that’s in effect year-round until at least next May.
Transport Canada says the renewed agreement with local whale watching and ecotourism industry partners means they may not offer or promote tours that are focused on the endangered orcas.