Orca protection rules come into the spotlight

Originally, the governor’s southern resident killer whale task force came up with a recommendation to ban whale watch boats from approaching the entire population. It wasn’t enacted. However, in 2021 WDFW enacted new regulations that kept whale watch boats at a bigger distance than recreational boats for nine months of the year. The compromise: whale watch boats can view Southern Residents in July, August and September – but only during two windows a day, and if whales that aren’t pregnant, deemed vulnerable or young calves are pregnant.

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