Whale-watching boat tours may be banned temporarily

A Washington state task force recommends temporarily banning killer whale boat tours. ©Mike Charest

A Washington state task force voted to temporarily ban killer whale-watching boat tours to help save endangered Northwest orcas (Orcinus orca). The team, which suggests a three- to five-year suspension of the tours, said the disturbance and noise from the boats can make it hard for whales to find food and communicate. The whale population is the lowest it has been in over 30 years. The task force plans to take its recommendations to Gov. Jay Inslee so he can consider the plan while proposing a budget and legislation. The whales also face threats from pollution, lack of Chinook salmon, dams, habitat loss and overfishing.

Read more in The Washington Post.