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New research money related to Navy sonar


Not sure what this means for southern residents and funding for their researchers, but this is surely good news for beaked whales, as well as killer whales when they may transit Navy training areas in the Salish Sea or off the Washington coast. Thanks to Val Veirs for the tip on this press release. clipped [...]

Ocean conditions promising future orca food


Some good news re offshore productivity in 2008, though the southern residents may not see the benefits for a couple years… clipped from www.oregonlive.com Oregon ocean conditions best for fish in 50 years After several years of poor ocean conditions that left birds starving and fish dwindling, this year brought a healthy influx of cold, [...]

Lubchenco could save NW salmon and orcas


Wonderful news that one of the pioneers of sustainability science will head NOAA in the Obama administration! This could really turn around the pitiful funding of the recovery plans for Northwest salmon and killer whales. Jane is an exceptional marine ecologist has long been working out practical solutions to saving our marine food supplies (and [...]

Could leader change at BPA help orcas?


This editorial gives a glimpse into the uppercrust of the BPA and ponders whether President Obama and Energy Secretary Chu will alter the BPA leadership. Could this be an opportunity for a dramatic acceleration in the re-balancing of the Northwest’s priorities: renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, thriving salmon, and healthy killer whales? First and foremost, we [...]

Killer whales call louder as vessel noise increases


This clipping from the NOAA/NWFSC Marine Mammal Program shows that southern residents are increasing the source level of their S1 calls by about 1dB for every decibel increase of the ambient noise level. Counts of vessels within 1km of the hydrophone correlate with the ambient noise levels. While the ecological consequences of this behavioral change [...]

Blackmouth and blackfish in Seattle


J, K, and members of L pod have been down in central and south Puget Sound quite a bit thus far this November and December.  The nice sighting maps at Orca Network show they’ve been sighted as far south as Seattle and Vashon on 12/2 and 12/7.  In comparison, here are the days in past [...]

Interim WDFW Director heads North of Falcon process


I’ve been wondering who herds the cats during the North of Falcon process. We orca advocates should start understanding and interacting with the process, ultimately so that the southern residents have a place at the table! clipped from wdfw.wa.gov December 01, 2008 Fish and Wildlife Commission appoints interim WDFW director OLYMPIA—In a special meeting today, [...]

Out-going WDFW Director helped WA Chinook


While the new Treaty will almost surely be good for the southern residents, I remain uncertain about whether releasing wild salmon really works when they’re caught during openings that target hatchery fish. “Under Koenings’ leadership, WDFW established many new sustainable fisheries that allow harvest of hatchery-produced fish while sparing wild salmon listed for protection under [...]

Seven killer whales disappear from B.C.’s south coast


This article has a nice synopsis of the lost animals, their ages, names, and demographic significance… clipped from www.canada.com Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun Published: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 A total of seven killer whales are thought to have died since last fall, reducing the population of endangered southern residents to just 83 in three pods. That’s [...]

Orcas to come up empty mouthed in CA?


The southern residents typically migrate all the way down to California’s Monterey Bay, often arriving there in January.  The presumably feed on salmon returning to or departing WA, OR, and CA rivers.   Below is an interesting article — in part because  members of all three pods have been sighted in the Salish Sea multiple times [...]