September 17, 2004
Luna, also known as L98, has been separated from his pod for the past three years. The five year old orca currently lives in Nootka Sound, approximately 200 km north of his family's summer range. Most years, his family leaves their summer home around the San Juan Islands and Victoria in the fall, and heads north, past Nootka Sound.
As time approaches for the potential of a natural reunion, a petition was launched by ReuniteLuna.com and Anon.org last week, which already has over 2700 signatures.
The Luna petition requests:
• A concerted effort by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the US National Marine Fisheries Service to facilitate a natural reunion of Luna with his community;
• Continued dialogue and cooperation between DFO and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations;
• That Luna be reunited with his Southern Resident orca community as soon as possible.
• Sustainable federal funding for comprehensive monitoring & enforcement programs to safeguard Luna and prevent interactions with people while he remains in Nootka Sound;
“The Southern Resident community of orcas, to which Luna belongs, is in serious trouble,” explains Keith Wood of Anon.org. “Many of its members were captured in the 1970s for public display, and their numbers have declined significantly over the last decade. They are currently listed as endangered in Canada and in Washington State. It is imperative that Luna hooks up with them soon, both for Luna and Luna’s pod. We started this petition to make sure that both governments realize this.”
“Luna's calls clearly identify him as a member of the "L2" matriline,” adds Ryan Lejbak of ReuniteLuna.com. “Knowing this, scientists fully expect that if Luna and members of his family hear one another, they will reunite.”
“We wanted to show DFO that the public remains concerned about Luna,” said Lejbak “Luna has sparked international concern, and when you look at the petition, the signatories reflect that.”
The petition and posters are now available for download so that people can take them to their neighbors, schools, churches and malls. “We have had over 100 volunteers from 80 cities around the world going door to door to collect signatures. We expect to add the results of these very soon,” said Lejbak.
“The number of people who are in support of a reunion is overwhelming,” said Wood. “Once people learn about Luna’s story they’re eager to sign the petition and most then get their friends and colleagues to sign.”
The petition will be presented to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), its US counterpart, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Mowachaht / Muchalaht First Nations.
Visit www.reuniteluna.com or www.anon.org for the detailed petition.