A Town in Washington Recognizes the Rights of Southern Resident Orcas

"The move is the latest development in the “rights of nature” movement gathering momentum in countries around the world, including the U.S. With only 73 of the orcas of the Salish Sea still in existence, time is of the essence."

"The city of Port Townsend, Washington, on Monday proclaimed that Southern Resident Orcas have legal rights, marking the first time a U.S. city council has made such a recognition.

“The rights of the Southern Resident Orcas include, but are not limited to, the right to life, autonomy, culture, free and safe passage, adequate food supply from naturally occurring sources, and freedom from conditions causing physical, emotional or mental harm, including a habitat degraded by noise, pollution and contamination,” Mayor David J. Faber said during the council meeting, reading from a non-binding proclamation.

Issuance of the document represents the latest development in the “rights of nature movement” which recognizes that nature and all of its constituent parts—including wild animals, mountains, forests and rivers—possess inherent legal rights similar to humans."

Katie Surma reports for Inside Climate News December 6, 2022.

Source: Inside Climate News, 12/07/2022