The visited the normally bustling industrial area with some of their young.
The juvenile killer whale will probably grow up to have normal colouring, experts say.
Research indicates a 24 to 50 per cent risk of southern resident orca extinction this century if conditions don't change.
Long overdue, the federal Action Plan fails to outline actions that will ensure endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales are protected from major threats to their survival. Killer whales are an indicator species, meaning that when we have a healthy population we likely have a healthy ocean.
I am not saying that the TMX must go forward. I have serious reservations about the project. However, I believe we need a fair debate on the topic and fair debates must rely on demonstrably sound evidence.
The buck was heading straight toward four orcas.
It has been 14 years since Southern Resident killer whales were listed as endangered under Canada's Species at Risk Act. Today, less than 85 of these whales remain. Despite their legal obligation to act, the federal government has failed to take measures to further recovery of the Southern Residents. As one of Canada's most endangered group of animals, actions for their survival cannot wait any longer.
The enduring threat of loud tankers and the additional possibility of an oil spill place killer whales in untenable and unacceptable peril. Even if the probability of a large oil spill is low, the consequence of such an event is potentially catastrophic.
Canadian and U.S. oil spill experts recognize that predicted increases in vessel traffic in the Salish Sea increase the probability of an oil spill and intensify vessel disturbance in an ecosystem already confronting myriad pressures.
The Salish Sea is seen as a desirable place by fossil fuel exporters to ship non-renewable, and typically dangerous, hydrocarbons to foreign markets. The proposed tanker route overlays much of the critical habitat of the Salish Sea's endangered southern resident killer whales.