87 fish-eating whales left......but the transient whales are doing very well, in and around the island.
When all the salmon runs have gone through......these fish-eaters spend the fall, winter,early spring eating resident "feeders"??...... don't think there'd be enough feeders around at these times to support a large whale population anyway.
The whales are feeding in the summer at the same time sporties and others are catching Chinook.
We all know that these whales have no fear of ripping right through sport boats and catching Chinooks with wild abandon. They have no fear of sporties or sporty fishing methods.
In fact the relationship is sometimes "symbiotic".......the whales will home-in on where they see sport boats fishing...or any other boat that's fishing for that matter.
So the whales, when they go through, will slow down the sport catch for an hour or two.
Which means there are Chinook for them to eat, because the fishing picks up after the whales leave.
So maybe the whales need to improve their skills at catching fish.
There are Orcas all up and down the west coast of North /Mid/ Southern America.......doing quite well. If one has ever watched any documentary footage of Orcas all over world...it is quite clear they are extremely intelligent animals, very adept at figuring out how to catch their dinner.
The fact that we have this little pod of 87 that eats nothing but Chinook........seems like some kind of anomaly. Unable to fend for themselves (unlike other Orcas), they come off like the "Kid from Deliverance" in the whale world.
Nature,when left to it's own devices, is highly cyclical. There are years of abundance....then times of not.
Herring have to eat too......if their food source is not around for any reason at all....then the cycle reacts accordingly. The less herring...the less salmon.
The factors that determine herring survivability ought to be seriously looked at.
There was another study done in Washington a while back that said cutting back the sportcatch of Chinook would probably not make any difference to southern Orcas. In light of the fact ,that before that, they said the whales could not reproduce because toxins were affecting their reproductive organs....well.....it seems like the "buck-passing" continues.
Current excuses for decling salmon stocks:-
Freshwater run-off extremes
PCBs' and toxins in water
Over-logging and destruction to water shed habitat.
Agricultural chemical runoff
Overfishing by First Nations
Overfishing by Commercials
Overfishing by Sporties
Overfishing of herring
Viruses from non-native species
Lack of DFO management
Over development of urban areas
Political agendas putting corporate interests ahead of the environment
Reduction of hatchery production
Over-retention of brood stock
Perceived over-abundance of seals and sealions
If you or I had lived here in 1850.....I doubt any of this would have been a factor.
It may be my duty to protect what I am able to the extent of my ability....
It is not my duty to be a gullible dork and have the wool pulled over my eyes by
those that want to further corporate/political interests by foisting some 'drive-by"
Mc-Science down my gizzard.
Politics and the justice system are identical in that "fact" has nothing to do with it.
You merely have to convince a number of people (as in a courtroom), that what is said was correct. If the jury buys it.....you win. Truth may come up much later on.
In the case of government.....it seems it is their duty to make sure the truth never comes up at all cost.