10:00 Lynne Barre, NWFSC
- Critical habitat can be modified. A future step is designating habitat outside of the inland waters of WA.
- Recovery plan implementation was started in 2003, well before the endangered listing in 2005.
- Proposed regulations are under review… no date given for when rule-making will occur.
- Consultations regarding potential impacts result in letters of concurrence or biological opinions; records are kept in public on their website…
- Prevention of oil spills is a high priority (WDFW is adding the Oct 2007 workshop‘s hazing plan as appendix to the Northwest response plan)
10:30 Paul Cottrell, DFO (taking over for Marilyn Joyce as of last October, was originally a marine mammal biologist)
- Canadian recovery strategy encompasses both northern and southern residents; transients (300-400 in population, rising with growing pinniped population) are listed as threatened and a recovery strategy is forthcoming; offshores are currently listed as species of concern, but are under review for upgrading to threatened.
- Southern residents were originally listed under COSEWIC (coh-see-wick); Recovery strategy was published on the SARA Registry in March , 2008
- Considering general regulations in addition to 100m approach limits; SARA has specific prohibitions
- Marine Mammal Response Network (headed by Lisa Stavings) is doing a series of workshops and has monitoring handouts for volunteers
- There is a potential mechanism for licensing (schedule 6), however it is not an option in the regulations that are being amended. If industry continues to grow, a licensing schedule could be implemented through a public review process.
Suzanne Russell, NMFS/NWFSC, “People of the U.S. Whale Watching Industry”
- Goal is to collect baseline data on the socio-cultural nature of the industry
- Started with a voluntary survey in June-November, 2006 (112 returns, 64% response rate); supplemented with interviews and field observations
- Analyzed overall, and broken down by sector (motorized vessel, kayak, land); further broken down by motorized vessel type (Tiers based on USCG regs — >65′ inspected, <65′ inspected multiple vessels, <65′ inspected single vessel, etc), as well as geographically (mainland vs island), and in some cases non/owner.
- Results (details coming in a forthcoming report)
- Demographics: majority in industry are >45y and have some college education; biggest boats are all based on mainland; owners have typically been in industry the longest are predominanty in kayak, island groups, while land-based portion of industry is relatively new.
- Big boats operate out of mainland and operate more tours overall; more multiple daily trips are made out of Islands.
- Boats have become bigger and faster over the years; companies have expanded to other wildlife (beyond orcas).
- Effects on the local community: many responses emphasized educational effect (e.g. taking school groups out)