Arcata First City in California to Support: Southern Resident Orca Rights Proclamation


Last week a proclamation was recognized and signed by the Arcata City Council. This proclamation was made by an organization called: Legal Rights for the Salish Sea; based in Washington state, their work is focused on protecting the inherent rights of Southern Resident Orcas or SRO’s for short. 

Dams, overfishing, pollution, and captivity are just a few of the reasons why this species is critically endangered.

“There’s only 75 individuals left in the wild right now and it’s mainly due to the fact that we are overfishing their primary food source,” Izzy Shirah, a member of the Legal Rights for the Salish Sea said.  “They’re not like other orcas in the way that they don’t eat mammals, they don’t go after whales, they’re strictly fish eaters.”

By signing this proclamation–Arcata is the first California city to show support for a state bill that would work toward safe travel for SRO’s, healthy ecosystems, as well as an adequate food supply.

Arcata joins 5 cities and 3 counties in Washington, along with one city in Oregon in support.  Legal Rights for the Salish Sea is hoping to get as much support as they can from coastal cities—for when they present to Washington state legislators.

“I think we owe it to them as beings, that we share the earth with to protect them as much as we can,” Shirah said. “Especially because we’re the ones that are making it so hard for them to live.”

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