Legislation would end orca captivity

Rep. Rick Larsen, D-WA, is again cosponsoring the Orca Responsibility and Care Advancement Act, a bill aimed at ending the captivity of orca whales.

The ORCA Act would permanently end orca captivity across the United States and prohibit orca breeding, the wild capture of orcas, and the import or export of orcas for purposes of public display.

The legislation, introduced by Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-CA, has 39 co-sponsors in the U.S. House, including 9 from California, 6 from Washington and 2 from Oregon.

“Orcas are an iconic and beloved part of Pacific Northwest culture,” Larsen said. “Passing the ORCA Act will ensure future generations of orcas stay where they belong: in the wild, not in captivity.”

Larsen has an established record of fighting to protect the environment.

In 2016, President Obama signed the bipartisan Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, authorizing an effort Larsen spearheaded to make the largest-ever investment in Puget Sound restoration as part of the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project. Last May, Larsen’s bipartisan bill to fund the National Estuary Program, which supports the comprehensive plan for Puget Sound recover, became law.

Larsen also fought successfully to designate San Juan Islands National Monument in 2013, and to protect 106,577 acres of national forest as part of the Wild Sky Wilderness in 2008.