To: National Marine Fisheries Service

Help Create a Protection Zone for Puget Sound Orca Before It's Too Late

I support the creation of an Orca Whale Protection Zone for the critically endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales, now down to 78 individuals and declining. One key to saving these beloved whales from extinction is less noise and disturbance from vessels. This can be achieved soon if the National Marine Fisheries Service establishes an Orca Whale Protection Zone in Puget Sound.

Why is this important?

Despite 2011 regulations from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) designed to minimize vessel noise and disturbance, the Southern Resident orca are not recovering. The current population of 78 is the lowest since 1985 – the SRKWs are no better off now than three decades ago.

To recover, the Southern Resident Orca need more fish to eat and a cleaner Puget Sound habitat, but these will take decades to achieve. They also need more rest and quiet, where they can hunt undisturbed by motorized boats and ships; engine noise disrupts their ability to catch fish and communicate. A Whale Protection Zone can be achieved relatively rapidly.

A Whale Protection Zone on the west side of San Juan Island in Puget Sound – one of the Orca’s primary hunting grounds – is a key missing piece of regulatory protection that will give them a necessary refuge from the pursuit by the commercial motorized whale watching fleet and the other private boats the fleet attracts.

Please tell NMFS that an Orca Whale Protection Zone is needed – soon.

See for more information on the status of the orca, the effects of noise and disturbance, and the Whale Protection Zone.