Skip to main content
Start of content
Start of content

e-4894 (Environment)

Initiated by Alex Harris from Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

  • Southern Resident killer whales are an endangered population listed under Canada’s Species at Risk Act and the United States Endangered Species Act;
  • Legally protected critical habitat for Southern Residents is located within the heavily transited transboundary marine waters of the Salish Sea;
  • Underwater noise and physical disturbance from vessels affects the ability of Southern Residents to communicate successfully and forage effectively;
  • Southern Resident killer whales can lose more than 50% of their echolocation range when foraging near commercial shipping traffic;
  • Increased shipping traffic from container expansions at Roberts Bank and oil tankers for Trans Mountain increase underwater noise in critical habitat. The lost foraging on salmon associated with this noise increases the risk of extinction for Southern Residents;
  • More ships will reduce the quiet time Southern Residents can feed without noise interfering with echolocation and communication;
  • Considering these threats, Washington State recently passed legislation (Senate Bill 5371) that establishes a mandatory 1,000-yard buffer for recreational and commercial whale watching vessels around Southern Resident killer whales; and
  • Canada has committed to halting and reversing biodiversity loss, as declared with the signing of the Kunming- Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
We, the undersigned, residents of Canada, call upon the Minister of Transport to implement a mandatory vessel distance regulation where recreational vessels and commercial whale-watch vessels must not be closer than 1,000 metres to Southern Resident killer whales, consistent with vessel distance regulations for these whales in Washington State.
Open for signature
March 22, 2024, at 5:01 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
April 21, 2024, at 5:01 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
May 23, 2024 (Petition No. 441-02476)
Photo - Elizabeth May
Saanich—Gulf Islands
Green Party Caucus
British Columbia