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The article on chinook salmon in Pacific waters shows the need to pay attention to the health of salmon around the region, specifically to ensure the health and future of southern resident killer whales.

These whales depend on chinook salmon for a large portion of their overall diet. Scarcity and reduced size of the many different runs of chinook make it more difficult for the southern resident killer whale population to survive. Imagine if your dinner plate kept shrinking and you’re suddenly getting a kids portion when you really need an extra-large portion.

That’s the reality facing the southern resident killer whale population. As the owner and operator of a whale-watch operation in the region, it’s easy to see that the viability and availability of salmon is clearly the critical need for this population of whales. My colleagues in Washington state and British Columbia spend more time on the water with these animals than anyone. We are committed to their health and viability, and our time on the water tells us that the more state, provincial and local governments can do to restore salmon stocks, the healthier our whale populations will be now and into the future.

Jeff Friedman, Friday Harbor, U.S. president, Pacific Whale Watch Association, and operator of Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching