Puget Sound orcas will remain protected under Endangered Species Act
Killer whales that spend their summers in Puget Sound are a distinct population group and will remain protected under the Endangered Species Act, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday.
NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service spent a year reviewing a petition to delist the orcas. The petition was brought by the Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of California farmers who faced water restrictions to protect salmon the orcas eat. They argued the Puget Sound orcas were part of a larger north Pacific population and didn’t qualify for the 2005 endangered species listing.
But NOAA spokesman Brian Gorman said those arguments were rejected.
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