The decision is aligned with the Co-op’s Stewardship & Advocacy Strategic Plan goal to “energize our member-owners to support positive change around core issues that affect the Co-op and the community’s future.”
We are keenly aware that this action alone is not adequate to protect the health of the Southern Resident orca population. It will take a concerted effort to protect and improve habitat for orcas to survive in the Salish Sea.
Learn About our Salmon Providers
You will continue to find salmon products in our stores, including wild-caught chinook/king salmon from Alaska, and a variety of coho/silver, sockeye, and keta salmon. We are fortunate to have great relationships with our providers, fishing in both Alaska and closer to home, and we have confidence in their fishing and processing methods.
Following are additional resources and ways you can get involved in supporting orcas.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is an excellent resource for recreational fishers to learn about regulations for fish and shellfish harvesting, places to go fishing, and fishing-related events. It also shares information on the management of fish and shellfish populations and tribal and commercial fishing.
Northwest Salmon Enhancement Association
Since it officially incorporated in 1991, Northwest Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) has completed 400 habitat restoration projects to support fulfilling its mission to protect salmon habitat in Whatcom County.
Projects undertaken remove barriers to migrating fish and restore stream banks by planting native trees and shrubs. NSEA relies on support from memberships and volunteer-powered work parties (which are a lot of fun!). The spring work party season has already ended, and will resume in October.
Learn more about NSEA and sign up for the Fish Bytes newsletter to stay current on ways you can help protect local salmon habitat.
The Center for Whale Research
The Center for Whale Research (CWR), located in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, is “dedicated to the study and conservation of the Southern Resident killer whale (orca) population in the Pacific Northwest.”
As of January 11, 2019, CWR reported the Southern Resident orca population totals 75 whales: J Pod=22, K Pod=18, L Pod=35. See the population trend for all three pods from 1975 to 2020 and learn more about the reasons for population decline.
Visit the CWR website, or hop a ferry and visit the center in person, to learn more about the work it has accomplished over 43 years of research and see suggestions for taking action for orca protection.
Long Live the Kings
Since 1986, Long Live the Kings (LLTK) has “worked to restore wild salmon and steelhead and to support sustainable fishing” utilizing on-the-ground fieldwork, scientific innovation, and broad partnerships to rebuild salmon and steelhead populations in Hood Canal and Puget Sound.
LLTK recently launched an interactive online game called Survive the Sound that allows users to follow their favorite fish character as it migrates through Puget Sound. The game uses real data collected as part of LLTK’s research efforts to tell the story of imperiled steelhead and the challenges they face. Select a fish and join “Team Co-op” to see if your fish can Survive the Sound.
Children of the Setting Sun Productions
The Co-op is honored to have hosted Children of the Setting Sun Productions for two special art shows in our Downtown store, and several events including The Salmon Nation Story (January 2019), Canoes, Salmon & Orcas (October 2018), and Learning from Coast Salish Culture and Peoples (October 2017).
The events provided an opportunity for Co-op member-owners to learn from our Lummi neighbors about their lifeways and the tribe’s work to help ailing orca populations.