Salmon and Orca Recovery in the Salish Sea

Southern Resident Killer Whales:  Is their Time Running Out?

A Population Viability Analysis published in 2017 found that prey limitation was the most important factor affecting population growth in Southern Resident killer whales, but reduced foraging efficiency due to vessel traffic and contaminant burden all combine to inhibit recovery. To meet SRKW recovery targets through prey management alone, Chinook abundance would have to be sustained near the highest levels since the 1970s, but combining more realistic prey management goals with other initiatives could also lead to recovery. This presentation examines immediate and long-term Chinook fisheries management issues that affect Southern Residents and Chinook salmon in the Salish Sea, including the status of Canadian Chinook stocks and the reasons for this status. Work is currently underway in Canada to examine sanctuaries, fisheries impacts, and reduce vessel noise and disturbance. These and other initiatives to recover Southern Residents will be discussed.


The Winter, 2019 Huxley Speaker Series is co-sponsored by Huxley College of the Environment and WWU's Salish Sea Institute, presenting a 10-week series on issues facing the Salish Sea.


About the Speaker

Misty MacDuffee on boat
Misty MacDuffee
Raincoast Conservation Foundation

Misty MacDuffee ​is a research biologist who leads the Wild Salmon Program for the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.  Her current work focuses on juvenile Chinook salmon in the Fraser River estuary and identifying estuary restoration objectives.  She also works with a science team addressing and understanding the implications of declining Chinook abundance and fisheries management on Southern Resident killer whales.  She currently sits as a representative to DFO’s (federal fisheries department) Harvest Planning Committee, Strategic Planning Initiative for Southern BC Chinook and SRKW working groups. Misty publishes on salmon and their ecosystems and management and has testified to the courts as an expert witness on these topics.


Environmental Speaker Series

The Environmental Speaker Series is hosted by the College of the Environment at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public. Talks are held each Thursday at 4:30 pm in Academic Instructional Center West room 204 - AW-204. Talks will also be streamed via zoom. Register with the Alumni Association for the zoom link. Paid parking is available in lot C.

Learn more about the Environmental Speaker Series
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