Saving the orcas | Letters

The Puget Consumers Co-op, a chain of locally supported, organic food markets in the greater Seattle area, has taken a bold and decisive step.

In an email to its members, it announced that they have made the decision “to stop selling fresh, frozen or smoked Chinook (king) salmon from Washington, Oregon or British Columbia in an effort to support our resident orca whale population. The orcas, who are critically endangered, feed almost exclusively on Chinook salmon from our region.” This decision by the PCC had to very difficult but I applaud them wholeheartedly. In their article they refer readers to, an organization that has looked at all the science available to explain why the orcas are declining and what needs to be done to bring them back. The article which is very informative ends with five things we as individuals can do to help the orcas. First, only eat sustainable seafood (which does not include Chinook salmon); second get involved with local salmon habitat restoration; third, support dam removal, (watch the movie Damnation); fourth, vote for politicians that support salmon recovery; and fifth, donate to the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project. See Long Live the Kings:

Not surprisingly, nowhere was it suggested that in order to save the orca do we need to start shooting/culling the sea lions.

Link for consumer guides: Habitat restoration: Movie info: Scorecard for Washington’s representatives: To read the entire announcement/position by the PCC go to

Gwen Stamm

Orcas Island