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Salish Sea Whale Sanctuary

Bioregional Protected Area for

Whales, Orcas, Dolphins & Porpoises

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Whale, Orca, Dolphin & Porpoise Populations
Throughout the Salish Sea to More Than 50% 

of Historic Levels as Soon as Possible

Cetaceans of the Salish Sea

The Salish Sea is full or part-time home to at least 22 marine mammals of the order Cetacea.

  • Short-beaked Common Dolphin

  • Long-beaked Common Dolphin

  • Risso’s Dolphin

  • Pacific White-sided Dolphin

  • Northern Right Whale Dolphin

  • Striped Dolphin

  • Bottlenose Dolphin

  • Orca Whale

  • False Killer Whale

  • Pygmy Sperm Whale

  • Short-finned Pilot Whale

  • Harbor Porpoise

  • Dall’s Porpoise

  • Baird’s Beaked Whale

  • Hubb’s Beaked Whale

  • Stejneger’s Beaked Whale

  • Cuvier’s Beaked Whale

17 Species of Toothed Whales

  • Gray Whale

  • Minke Whale

  • Fin Whale

  • Humpback Whale

  • Bryde's Whale

5 Species of Baleen Whales

Whale Sanctuaries of the World

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Whale Sanctuaries vary widely in size, authority, enforcement, and rules and regulations. The general practice is a designated body of water where the killing or taking of whales is prohibited. For some whale sanctuaries, such as those designated by the International Whaling Commission, that is more or less the extent of protections. Others, such as the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, have a management plan hundreds of pages long.

Salish Sea Whale Sanctuary 

The New Evolution

Since time immemorial, the First Peoples of the Salish Sea Bioregion have always recognized, understood and respected the Salish Sea (Sche’ne) as a Sanctuary for Whales and All Life, with a profound understanding of Kulthlala’mechen (Orca People) as Ancestral Beings of the highest order.

Salish Sea Whale Sanctuary takes the Best Management Practices from existing models, and makes several key improvements:

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  1. Bioregional Designation - Whales throughout the Salish Sea, their prey, and even the water itself traverse the colonial border between Canada and the US. Issues within one part of the sea effect the entire sea and everything within, which is why the entire Salish Sea must be cared for equally. 

  2. Proclamation by the People - Sanctuaries enacted by governments or governmental agencies can be weakened by bad-acting politicians or industry lobbying. Salish Sea Whale Sanctuary's strength comes from the people that live here and are involved in the issues facing this region.

  3. Active Restoration - Other whale sanctuaries focus on the protection of existing whales, and in some cases, their habitat. Salish Sea Whale Sanctuary looks comprehensively at all the negative or limiting factors and works to restore population levels and quality of life for whales in the Salish Sea.

Salish Sea Whale Sanctuary - Concept to Reality

Create the inspirational foundation for Salish Sea Whale Sanctuary


Collect Input from the greater Salish Sea community


Build a grassroots movement of enthusiastic support


Consult with Indigenous Peoples


Continually refine based on feedback


Assemble a diverse and well qualified team to draft management plan and advise


Gain the free, prior and informed consent of First Nations around

the Salish Sea


Gather 1 million signatures on the Proclamation through a mass grassroots campaign 


Pass citizen voter ballot initiatives in British Columbia and Washington State


Complete implementation of Salish Sea Whale Sanctuary in culture, spirit, and law


Through collective effort, we guide the Whale Sanctuary down the timeline. Find out how you can help!

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