Each year, the number of southern resident killer whales in the Salish Sea on the Pacific coast declines — yet another species on the road to extinction. Last summer, many grieved as they watched an orca named J35, also known as Tahlequah, carried her dead calf for more than two weeks.
The Canadian government has since introduced measures intended to save these struggling whales. One proposes to establish small sanctuaries within some areas of their critical habitat.
Another route is to give these killer whales legal rights. Scientists and environmental lawyers agree that whales need the legal rights of personhood to give them a voice in courts and legislatures, and to secure their continued survival and well being. MORE