The strategy's objectives are to ensure the whales have an adequate and accessible food supply, that chemical and biological pollutants and disturbance from human activities do not prevent recovery and that critical habitat is protected.
John Ford, marine mammal scientist at DFO's Pacific Biological Station, is an expert on the eating habits of resident killer whales. Ford wrote last year in a University of British Columbia paper, that "resident killer whales may be dependent on chinook salmon, and the abundance of this prey species may have a direct effect on their survival."
In the U.S., Garrett has firm ideas on what should be done to save the orcas. "There is already a lot of effort to restore salmon on the U.S. side, and we need to tie orca recovery to salmon recovery every step of the way," he says. That means tighter fishing restrictions, buffer zones around salmon streams and the removal of dams on the Elwha River and the Snake River in Washington state.