Letters to the Editor

Orcas: If they rebound, salmon runs suffer

Are we overlooking the possibility that the reduction in salmon runs in Puget Sound may be due in part to orcas feeding on them? I have no idea how many salmon an orca consumes, but I assume they have prodigious appetites.

If the number of chinook runs has fallen precipitously, would it not be more logical to take steps to reduce the number of orcas instead of efforts to stabilize or increase their numbers?

Orcas (nee killer whales) are predators. They aren’t cartoon characters, and they aren’t imbued with human qualities.

Orcas feed on various food sources by nature’s design. Nature is unforgiving and if the resident orcas have refined their diet to only include chinook - a food source that is in serious decline - they must either adapt their feeding habits to include other food sources or perish.

Sea lions on the Columbia River are currently being shot in order to bring balance to salmon runs there. Could the same fate befall the Puget Sound orcas? Maybe we should give this a second thought before spending billions in a fruitless attempt to fool Mother Nature.

Doug Tullis, Tacoma

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