Southern Resident Killer Whales face a multitude of threats. The primary threat to this population of Orca is a lack of prey. Habitat disturbance and underwater noise from marine activities and vessels make it difficult for orcas to use echolocation which helps them find and hunt prey. Toxic contaminants in the water also affect the food supply and overall health of orcas.
Plus, ships and boats in the Salish Sea create underwater noise that makes it difficult for orcas to use echolocation, which helps them find and hunt salmon. Underwater noise is projected to grow significantly in coming years as the Port of Vancouver expands and proposed shipping projects get approved.