Last one tonight from me !
The U.S. Navy recently applied for exemption under the Marine Mammal Protection Act for the “incidental take” of marine mammals, in order to carry out training and testing activities in the Pacific Northwest. If approved, such activities would directly impact the endangered Southern Resident killer whales while traveling through or foraging in the Navy’s area of operations.
What does take mean under the Endangered Species Act and what is incidental take?
‘Take’ as defined under the ESA means “to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.”
Incidental take is an unintentional, but not unexpected, taking.
When a species is listed as endangered, take prohibitions are automatically extended to it under ESA Section 9.
When a species is listed as threatened, NOAA Fisheries must issue protective regulations in order to extend any take prohibitions to the species under ESA Section 4(d).
Source: NOAA Fisheries.
Donald Trump’s appointee is about to allow the U.S. Navy to kill over 50 orcas. This comes at a time that orca numbers have been historically low and is being decided by the same person who helped President Trump falsely alter a hurricane forecast with a sharpie to save face.
Target: Dr. Neil Jacobs, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Agency Executive, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Goal: Reject Navy proposal to ‘take’ up to 51 whales in Puget Sound.
The United States Navy just applied for permission to potentially kill up to 51 orcas in the Puget Sound. They applied for an exemption to the Marine Mammal Protection Act in the form of something called an ‘incidental take.’ To ‘incidentally take’ an animal essentially means an expected accident in which the animal is injured, hunted, harassed, or killed. This means that the Navy is asking permission to do activities, such as conducting training exercises, that they normally wouldn’t be allowed to do because it would adversely affect the orca population.
This year has been a devastating year for orca. The Salish Sea, which is legally considered the orca’s ‘core critical habitat,’ saw historically low numbers of orca returning in the spring. The prey that the orca feeds on is also in significant decline. The Washington Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery Task Force has recommended that steps be put in place to reduce noise in the Salish Sea where the orca live because adding sound pollution to hunting and breeding grounds affects the animal’s ability to communicate, hunt, and evade danger.
There are only 80 orcas left in the Puget Sound. Killing even one of these animals would have devastating consequences for the remainder of the population. The Navy’s proposed plan could kill more than half of the orca remaining in these northern waters. These animals are a fundamental and treasured part of the ecosystem in the Pacific Northwest. Please sign this petition today, rejecting the Navy’s application to kill these magnificent creatures.
Dear Dr. Jacobs,
The United States Navy has applied for permission to ‘take’ up to 51 orcas in the Pacific Northwest. This is an unacceptable proposal. With only 80 orcas left in the Puget sound, this proposal has the potential to devastate the remainder of the population. Reducing the orca population that significantly could make it almost impossible for this treasured creature to survive.
The Washington Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery Task Force has advised against any added noise within the orcas’ habitat. Noise pollution in the water adversely affects the whales’ ability to communicate, hunt, and evade danger. Orca populations are already dwindling at a frightening pace. Do not speed up the destruction of these incredible creatures. Please deny the US Navy’s proposal to encroach on these vital waters.
[Your Name Here]