Puget Sound Science
Environmentalists petitioned the feds yesterday to protect Puget Sound orca whales under the Endangered Species Act. The National Marine Fisheries Service has 90 days to review the request. If it thinks the petition is warranted, the agency will then have one year to decide whether to list the killer whales as threatened or endangered under the act. In the petition, the Center for Biological Diversity says overfishing, pollution, and whale-watching vessels are pushing the whale population to the brink of extinction. Only about 83 Puget Sound orcas are still living.