Resident Killer Whales in BC and Transmountain Pipeline

One of the arguments used against the twinning of the Transmountain (TMX) pipeline in BC is that it threatens Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) with more ship noise. I have my doubts about ship noise being the problem since Orcas (non-SRKW ) are doing ok elsewhere.

The SRKW  are a small pod (79?) and are not doing well at all and may go extinct. But they may have reached an evolutionary dead end because they eat fish unlike other Orcas that eat seals etc. And humans are eating the fish.

Resident orcas [SRKW ] eat exclusively fish with salmon (primarily Chinook) the majority of their diet. Transient orcas prefer to eat other marine mammals like seals, sea lions, and other whales.”

The TMX expansion will result in about 400 addition ship movements per year through the are the Residents feed. About 1 per day. That 400 is a small number compared to all ship movements in the region, but usually the numbers are only mentioned for tankers.

The National Energy Board released a report with recomendations like:

“Trans Mountain must file with the NEB, at least 3 months prior to commencing operations, a Marine Mammal Protection Program that focuses on mitigating effects from the Project and associated cumulative effects, and on fulfilling Trans Mountain’s commitments as a terminal operator with regard to Project-related marine shipping.”

I think there are something 23,000+ ships movements per year in the SRKW territory.

Pretty much the day after the report came out, the current NDP (socialist) government (and their Green allies)  announced that they were expanding ferry sailings by  2,700 sailings, many of which are in the SRKW territory.


On top of that, the NEB report had this gem:

“Based on its 2016 analysis, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority forecasts the number of vessel calls to the Port of Vancouver may increase to about 12 ships per day by 2026.”

The big green machine are pulling out the stops. I don’t doubt that a few of them care about the SRKW. But for the most part it is all part of the plan to kill the oilsands in Alberta.

A very interesting blog post on the same subject.




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