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Recovery Strategy for the Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) in Canada

Appendix D - Record of Cooperation and Consultation

Northern and southern resident killer whales are listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and as an aquatic species are under federal jurisdiction and managed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO): 200 - 401 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC. Southern resident killer whales are a transboundary population and the United States is concurrently developing a recovery plan as mandated under their Endangered Species Act.

To assist in the development of an initial draft of this recovery strategy, DFO brought together a diverse team of experts from various government, environmental, eco-tourism and non-governmental groups from both Canada and the United States. On the advice of the Species at Risk Coordinator at the BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission, a letter of invitation followed up by phone calls was sent to all coastal First Nations seeking their interest in participating on the Recovery Team and/or Technical Workshop. No response was received from First Nations for inclusion on either initiative. Subsequent to the consultation process the Namgis First Nation has indicated an interest to be involved in future action planning and local implementation. 

A Technical Workshop was hosted in March 2004 to provide a forum for the sharing of knowledge and expertise on killer whales with an invited group of scientific and technical stakeholders which was invaluable in assisting the Resident Killer Whale Recovery Team to formulate an effective recovery strategy. 

Public news releases announcing the Recovery Team and development of the recovery strategy and a notice of Public Consultations were sent to a distribution list of whale-related contacts provided to DFO in recent years from environmental groups, the eco-tourism sector, non-governmental organizations, government agencies and private citizens. An announcement was also placed in the Vancouver Aquarium Aquanews newsletter.

Additional input was sought through the internet (March 2005) on the draft recovery strategy and a discussion guide and feedback form were available.  Responses were received from eco-tourism and non-government organizations and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations. Input from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the State of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife was received through team participation. Feedback on the recovery strategy was also received from other government agencies including: the Department of National Defence, Province of BC, SARA Secretariat, Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada. An external peer review was conducted by Volker Deecke, Ph.D., University of BC, and Christope Guinet, Centre d’Etudes Bilogiques de Chize, France. All feedback from both government agencies and peer reviewers has been incorporated into the final recovery strategy.

A proposed version of the recovery strategy was posted on the SARA Public Registry for a 60-day public comment period, from June 21st to August 20th, 2007. During this time, numerous comments were received from a wide variety of sources including government agencies, commercial and recreational fishing groups, ecotourism operators, non-governmental organizations, and private citizens. All feedback from this comment period was considered and incorporated into the final recovery strategy as appropriate.

Recovery Team:

Marilyn Joyce, Chair: Fisheries & Oceans Canada, Lance Barrett-Lennard, Vancouver aquarium John Ford, Fisheries & Oceans Canada, Graeme Ellis, Fisheries & Oceans Canada, Peter Ross, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Peter Olesiuk, Fisheries & Oceans Canada, Brian Reader, Parks Canada Agency, Christine Garrett, Environment Canada, Ken Balcomb, Centre for Whale Research, Brent Norberg, National Marine Fisheries Service, Steve Jeffries, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, John Durban, National Marine Fisheries Service, Linda Jones, National Marine Fisheries Service, Rich Osborne, The Whale Museum, David Bain, Friday Harbor Laboratories, University of Washington, Paul Spong, Orcalab, Andrew Trites, University of British Columbia, Anna Hall, Whale Watch Operators Association NW, Jim Borrowman, North Island Whale Watching Community, Rob Williams, Marine Conservation Caucus, Scott Wallace, Sierra Club of Canada, B.C. Chapter (Alternate), Gary Wiles, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (Alternate), Brian Riddell, Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council, Rob Paynter, Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, Kathy Heise, University of British Columbia

External Review:

Dr. Volker Deecke of the University of British Columbia and Dr. Christope Guinet, Centre d’Etudes Bilogiques de Chize, France.

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