Right now up to eighteen orcas have become trapped within a breathing hole in the sea ice of northern Quebec. So far, the Canadian government has done nothing to help these animals, who could all perish without rapid assistance from humans. Residents of the village of Inukjuak, an outpost on Hudson Bay in far northern Quebec, first reported seeing the trapped pod of killer whales on Monday. They contacted officials at Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) but so far it is not clear what action, if any, the government will take.
Local resident Johnny P. Williams told the Canadian Broadcasting Company that he checked in on the whales, who seem to be having trouble getting enough air to breath. “It is difficult to go near the ice since the waves from the whales are making it impossible,” he told the CBC, speaking in Inuktitut. “The breathing hole is getting smaller and smaller. Their whole body jumps up for air.” Apparently, the orcas managed to kill a polar bear that had wandered too close to their breathing hole.”
Williams said that a plane was dispatched to fly over the site (see video) and try to determine the number of orcas trapped, and their distance from open water. It will take an icebreaker to clear a path for their escape.”
An informal online campaign has sprung up urging DFO to take action and save the whales, including on this Facebook page. Meanwhile, people in the wild orca activist community tell TakePart they’re hopeful something will be done, though they have their reservations.
CTV News is reporting that Canadian officials are still undecided what to do. Urgent action is needed if these beautiful creatures are to survive.
If you want to take some action, lease visit this Facebook page, and contact DFO (Quebec Region) directly at (418) 648-2239 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Urge them to immediately seek a solution.