Wednesday November 29, 2023

Vancouver Sun

Newly identified toxic-metal hot spots on the West Coast further threaten endangered killer whales and their key food source, a study shows.

Southern resident killer whales and the chinook salmon they depend on for survival are both already in a dangerous state of decline, said Ocean Wise research scientist Joseph Kim.

Less food and more boat traffic, noise and pollution all jeopardize the survival of the remaining 75 members that make up the unique population of killer whales. The orcas primarily frequent waters around southern Vancouver Island, Washington state and Oregon in the U.S.

The majority of coastal chinook stocks in the whales’ core range are struggling as a result of habitat destruction, overfishing and climate change.

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