Vancouver’s David Suzuki Foundation is asking us all to help save our endangered southern resident killer whales – and their kickoff video is pretty amazing.
The #JoinThePod campaign is focused on the Salish Sea orca pod that swims in our waters; there are only 76 of these majestic animals left.
“The Salish Sea Orcas numbers are at a critical point that requires immediate action,” said a spokesperson for the foundation in an email statement.
“As such, we want people to directly connect with this drastically low number and form a close relationship with its significance.”
The campaign aims to celebrate public participation through positive expression and reinforcement, not guilt or fear, said the statement.
Several factors are thought to be putting the endangered whales at risk, including a dwindling supply of the chinook salmon that make up 90% of their diet.
According to the David Suzuki Foundation, our southern resident killer whale pod need about 1,400 chinook salmon every day.
Pollution entering the seas in the form of chemicals and plastics can also endanger the whales, as does noise from marine traffic, which may interfere with their communications.
The issue of disturbance from marine traffic is currently being researched by the Port of Vancouver in its Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program.
The initiative is aimed at better understanding underwater noise, vessel-related threats, and helping to develop ways of managing the issue through the Strait of Georgia.
Among other efforts, the port also offers harbour rate discounts to quieter ships and undertook a temporary voluntary vessel slowdown trial this summer.
But the David Suzuki Foundation wants us all to do more.
As part of the #JoinThePod campaign, the Foundation and its partners are developing more initiatives the Salish Sea orcas need to survive.
“In fewer than 20 years, their population has dropped by more than 20%,” writes the organization on the campaign website.
“We know what to do. But we need massive co-operation and passionate advocacy.”