||Marine Mammal Monitoring
One of the major issues in this waterway
is the potential impact that the large number of whale watching
operators and private boaters in the area may be having on
The southern resident killer whale population, often found
in the waters between Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle, was
recently listed as endangered by the Committee
on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).
The Marine Mammal Monitoring program (M3)
was developed to address this issue and to establish a stewardship
role on behalf of the marine mammals in the Salish Sea. (click
left poster to download pdf).
by The Veins of Life Watershed Society of the Marine
Mammal Monitoring Program PDF
2009 Veins of Life Watershed Society / All Rights Reserved
/ if you wish to use any info for commercial or non commercial
usage you must obtain permissions from The Veins of Life Watershed
John R. Roe firstname.lastname@example.org
Fisheries and Oceans Canada - News Release
May 23, 2002
VEINS OF LIFE WATERSHED SOCIETY AND DFO PROMOTE LOCAL
STEWARDSHIP OF MARINE MAMMALS
Victoria, B.C. – The Veins of Life Watershed Society (VOLWS),
in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), released
today an annual report on the Marine Mammal Monitoring Project (M3).
The report outlines recent monitoring and outreach activities undertaken
by VOLWS and DFO to promote local stewardship of marine mammals
through the M3 project.
"DFO is working with local and U.S. partners to protect and
conserve marine mammals by promoting responsible whale watching,"
said , Community Advisor for Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
"We are also learning more about the frequency, nature and
behaviour of whale watching vessels."
"We are creating awareness about how to minimize the impact
humans have when viewing marine mammals," said Louise Murgatroyd,
Project Co-ordinator with VOLWS, a non-governmental organization
with a history of promoting green boating and concern for endangered
species and near-shore marine pollution.
The M3 project promotes stewardship of marine mammals, birds and
critical habitat by providing an outreach, education and monitoring
program for recreational and commercial eco-tourists in the waters
surrounding the San Juan Islands and the southern Gulf Islands.
Many marine species, such as whales, seals, and sea lions, inhabit
this trans-boundary area also known as the Salish Sea.
Stewardship and outreach activities have focused on promoting improved
guidelines for responsible whale watching. Through community outreach
at local events, boat shows and the distribution of an information
brochure, Be Whale Wise, M3 is promoting responsible marine mammals
viewing, especially for whales. While operating a stewardship patrol
vessel in the trans-boundary waters M3 staff also provided information
on marine mammals watching guidelines and advised boaters when undesirable
behaviour occurred. After on-the-water observations, M3 staff provided
commercial companies with whale watching compliance reports.
Between June and October 2001, the M3 team observed and recorded
the behaviour of whale watching vessels. This included counting
the number and type of vessels viewing whales, recording the behaviour
of whale watchers, and observing the duration and locations of greatest
intensity for whale watching. These observations give DFO and VOLWS
a clearer picture of the type of whale watching activities taking
place in the trans-boundary area.
Conservation concern around the impact of whale watching on whales
and dolphins was identified in a report prepared for the department
by Dr. Jon Lien of Memorial University of Newfoundland. Under the
departmental mandate to conserve and protect marine mammals, DFO
is working with VOLWS to gain more information about whale watching
activities and promote stewardship of the species. This initiative
is of growing importance since the Committee on the Status of Endangered
Wildlife in Canada listed resident killer whales as endangered,
and transient killer whales as threatened in 2001.
The M3 project received $62,000 in funding from the Habitat Stewardship
Program (HSP), a Government of Canada, partnership-based conservation
initiative for Species at Risk. HSP is co-operatively managed by
Environment Canada , Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Parks Canada,
and administered by Environment Canada. The M3 project was augmented
by an additional $122,000 in sponsor-matched funds. These matched
funds were from U.S. and local partners including Friday Harbour
Whale Museum’s Soundwatch in Washington, U.S.A., the B.C.
Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, Lester B. Pearson College
of the Pacific, Sun Cruiser Magazine, the Oak Bay Marina and other
The M3 annual report can be found on the Internet at www.salishsea.ca.
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© 2009 Veins of Life Watershed Society / All Rights Reserved
/ if you wish to use any info for commercial or non commercial usage
you must obtain permissions from The Veins of Life Watershed Society