X-Sender: orca@pop3.rockisland.com
Mime-Version: 1.0
To: Ian Byington <ian@byd.com>, chartert@rockisland.com
From: Western Prince Cruises - Jean <orca@athena.rockisland.com>
Subject: Re: Whalewatch Workshop on March 13
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 19:47:56 -0800 (PST)


This workshop was attended by 3 county commissioners and had about 10
About a dozen folks from Victoria came over including Mark Pakenham with DFO
who oversees Marine Protected Areas and fisheries.

Tidbits heard at the meeting:
Did you know that in the first whale (Moby Doll) speared and taken to
Vancouver for a display model back in the 60's was taken near Sucia Island
in the U.S. but not in Canada? ( as I had thought all these years)

People that spoke were:
I. Kelley Balcomb-Bartok
II. Mike Bennett - Whalewatch Association NW President
III.Dan Kukat from Victoria, - Whalewatch Assn. Vice President
IV.Kari Koski - Whale Museum Soundwatch Program
V. Rich Osborne -
VI.rep from Washington Dept of Fish & Wildlife. He said the bulk of his
time was spent on commercial fisheries.
VII.Shuler - NMFS said "community oriented policing" is good. The federal
government cannot come in and TELL us what to do.

VIII.Brent Norberg, NMFS - said Federal guidelines do not distinguish
between commercial and private boaters. "Unless management of a species has
been returned to a state, the Federal rules only apply." Making local
regulations is very limited because the Marine Mammal Protection Act does
not allow for ...a stricter interpretation of a ... "take" unless authority
is returned to the state or county.
Any local regulations must be reviewed by the General Counsel of NMFS.

Schuler NMFS --northwest region said "be careful what you ask for". He said
"limited entry & licensing is a great idea". But, the feds. will not do it.

IX.David Bain on vessel noise in the water. He spoke about decibel levels
in outboard motors as they relate to frequency of whale eco-location. He
also said whales "do not show a consistent response to noise." His study
will continue this season.

X.Jodi Smith spoke of her theodolyte study. She said she only had 9% of
her data on whales when no boats were present but will get more data this year.

XI.Paul Wade from National Marine Mammal Lab showed great charts on our
southern population as they relate to deaths and births over past 26 years.
He showed deaths in L pod much greater than in J or K pods. Said ups and
downs of whale population may have something to do with the captures, El
Nino and availability of fish.

XII.Randy Gaylord said:
1. Our jurisdiction is ONLY San Juan County out to the boundary line.
2. Said limitation on police power and regulations have to have a LOCAL aspect.
3. County does not have to show scientific proof, but does need a rational
We cannot limit interstate commerce or foreign commerce. We cannot pre-empt
state law. Federal "whale" rules take priority.

XIII. Bill Cummings - Sheriff
Whales are a difficult issue for a land-based patrol. He would only enforce
Federal rules, but who will pay for it? Said County does not enforce
fishing law, only safety laws on the water. ... noted that every violation
would have to be proved in court.

XIV. Dennis Hazelton - U.S. Customs
Said you are either in U.S. or Canadian waters, not international waters.
You are subject to country you are traversing in. You have the right of
"innocent passage". You cannot be a "swimmer" or a "diver" or you abrogate
innocent passage ... and then you have the clear customs in the country you
are in.

We need to realize that you are subject to boarding by the County Sheriff,
U.S. Customs and U.S. Coast Guard. He said in summer he has only 51% of
staff he needs to do his job. In an incident, passenger safety is important
and the first priority.

XV. Mark Pakenham, DFO
sees these ISSUES
1. public perception
2. media perspective
3. current regulations
4. anecdotal information
5. scientific knowledge
6. ESA (in US) and SARA (in Canada)
7. compliance
8. education & outreach

Says our response can be:
1. Adaptive guidelines
2. new regulations
3. monitoring
4. conservation of food stocks
5. Pacific Marine Mammal Advisory Council
6. educational initiatives
7. areas of refuge

Will be printing a cooperative brochure for both sides of the border to
reach eco-tourists, fishers and recreational boaters for 2001.

So, that is a detailed summary which about 60 people heard. No decisions
were made, but all were thanked for participating.

Summary Statements:
Rich suggested we reduce impact of vessel-based whalewatching, ban all
chemicals and pesticides in San Juan County that could get into the water,
and ban salmon fishing.

Kelley suggested a time limit, no commercial boats before 9 am or after 6
pm. Also go further offshore than 1/4 mile on the west side.

David Bain wants a larger "no boat area".

Mike Bennett wants to be sure more stringent guidelines are for the right

Randy Gaylord says support Soundwatch.

Bill Cumming suggested that the Coast Guard enforce the federal law
whenever they are out here.

Jodi wants input on new guidelines and ways to measure compliance.

Kari wants easy to understand guidelines for private boaters and to get the
new guidelines to here asap