For the Proper Management of Puget Sound Killer Whale Populations

WHEREAS, no organized study of the numbers, population dynamics, or movements of killer whales found in Puget Sound has been undertaken; and

WHEREAS, commercial utilization of killer whales in Puget Sound has been in progress since 1964, removing several young killer whales each year from Puget Sound waters; and

WHEREAS, it is unknown what fraction of the annual increment of this killer whale population is being removed from Puget Sound; and

WHEREAS, studies of other marine mammals including cetaceans have shown that individual pods, herds, or other subpopulation groups inhabit certain marine areas year after year (i.e., have home ranges similar to other mammals); and

WHEREAS, studies of other marine mammals have shown that frequent or repeated disturbance causes changes in distribution and abundance; and

WHEREAS, the annual removal of young killer whales from Puget Sound could, over a period of years, cause a population decline there;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Society of Mammalogists supports the contention that young killer whales should not be removed annually from Puget Sound until adequate studies have demonstrated that such removal will not be detrimental to this population.