Maybe Northwest orcas are like moms on Mother's Day. All they really need is a little peace and quiet. After being poked, named and profiled, all that remains is for the whales...

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Maybe Northwest orcas are like moms on Mother’s Day. All they really need is a little peace and quiet.

After being poked, named and profiled, all that remains is for the whales to appear on Dr. Phil to work through their issues.
Does another layer of federal paperwork offer any more protection? Orcas are treated like giant black-and-white stuffed mammals, simultaneously loved and squeezed for profits and principles.

News that the National Marine Fisheries Service has relented and agreed to consider listing resident orcas as threatened is a victory of sorts for the persistent.

Perhaps the most refreshing part of the announcement was a comment by Bob Lohn, regional Fisheries Services director, that there would not be much noticeable change. One hopes his observation covers interested parties in and out of the water.

Seattle Times reporter Warren Cornwall explained yesterday that orcas are already protected by state, federal and Canadian laws, and they are the earnest focus of efforts to help nurture and restore their depleted numbers.

That is all well and good, but if listing orcas as threatened under the Endangered Species Act is an oblique attempt to promote other environmental goals in Puget Sound, that would be cynical and disruptive.

The national Fisheries Service plans public hearings en route to a decision that could take up to a year. Orcas have enough paperwork in their files.