Recently there have been a lot of attention to the government granting permission to tag some of the animals in the Southern Resident Killer Whale population. It seems like the idea is getting warm and cold responses. This is not that surprising. The Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) population draws lots of attention due to their accessibility to whale watchers, scientist and the various other groups of people out there.
I am sure science has a lot of questions to ask about the seasonal movements of the SRKW population. After all they are a subset of the Orca Whale population protected under the Endangered Species Act. Therefore being able to collect detailed information on the travel patterns could be useful for future conservation efforts.
The opposition tends to be wary of the tagging project, as they feel the tags could harm the animals. The concer that has been stated is the risk of infection. The SRKW population are known to have high levels of toxins in their system. The toxins possibly hinder their immune system. So a infection could have a negative outcome.
Here are a couple of articles for both sides.