The beautiful cruising grounds of the Pacific Northwest are home to many marine mammals, most iconic of these are orcas, sometimes referred to as killer whales. This Southern Resident Community of orcas are listed as endangered by both the United States and Canada. As of April 2022, only 74 orcas remain.
These striking figures, combined with the immense number of boaters, are why organizations such as Be Whale Wise were created to protect the sensitive marine habitats in our local area. This is done through research and education initiatives in partnership with various government agencies in Washington State and British Columbia.
The government of Canada website maintains several very helpful maps referencing the management areas that protect Southern Resident Killer whales. Below is the Gulf Islands map, with areas shaded in red “no boating” zones in effect June 1 – November 30.
View the office Government of Canada website here: Management measures to protect Southern Resident killer whales
Here are some of the mandatory measures while operating a vessel in the vicinity of Southern Resident Killer whales:
Maintain a minimum approach distance of