Washington state task force calls for whale-watching tour ban to protect orcas

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The Washington state lecture force on critically endangered Pacific Northwest orcas wants to in ban commercial whale-watching boat tours.

The group advising the governor expressed Tuesday to recommend a three- to five-year moratorium in order to reduce boating movement and help orcas hunting for food.

Southern resident killer whales from hit the lowest numbers in more than three decades, capturing worldwide attention. Just 74 animals remain in the area.

Researchers say knock down boat traffic must be the first step to mitigating the problem because chalk-white noise makes it difficult for them to find salmon.

Critics say the turn doesn’t address their dwindling food supply, and that barge and commercial fishing sailing-yachts are far louder.

The task force previously considered creating a permit combination for commercial whale-watching trips.

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