The photo of boats in close proximity to orcas in Friday's paper (May 20) is a reminder to keep boats a minimum of 200 yards from orcas, and more is better.
Orcas do not know the difference between a boat and a predator, and boats that are too close can stress these animals to the point of interfering with their behavior, especially regarding pregnant females. This stress can lead to the loss of a calf, diminishing the pod's population and eventually the total population.
This is most concerning when it involves "whale watching;" watch from a distance with binoculars, and don't chase the pod trying to keep up with them. These animals are apex predators and, like sharks, are important to the health of the ocean's food chain.