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From fiction to real life: Tropic whale in South Puget Sound?

Hello All! I started this blog last week then immediately left for a week-long meeting in Los Angeles. Apologies for my neglect and thanks much to those of you who commented and responded to my initial blog.

I’ve got a few things to share from LA but will wait until I get home and download the pictures.

In the meantime, if you haven’t heard through other avenues, what appears to be a juvenile (still nearly as long as my house) Bryde’s whale has washed up in South Puget Sound. It likely solves some mystery whale reports from Liberty Bay residents to the Orca Network earlier this month.

Bryde’s whales typically live in the tropics. This appears to be the first record of the whale in the Puget Sound. If you’ve ever read Jim Lynch’s The Highest Tide, you might find it ironic that this whale showed up near where young Miles began to witness strandings of several unusual and awesome creatures outside of their usual habitat. … If you haven’t read The Highest Tide, it’s a quick read loaded with marine biology, embedded in a great story.

For more information and several pictures of this particular whale, check out the Cascadia Research website. Enjoy the mysteries and wonders the sea is willing to share! JEff

Jeff Adams is a Washington Sea Grant Marine Water Quality Specialist, affiliated with the University of Washington’s College of the Ocean and Fishery Sciences and based in Bremerton. You can follow his Sea-life blog, email to jaws@uw.edu or call at 360-337-4619.

6 thoughts on “From fiction to real life: Tropic whale in South Puget Sound?

  1. I’m surprised UW SeaGrant has the money for week long meetings in Los Angeles. The budget must not be as bad as we’re being led to believe.

  2. Hi BlueLight- It’s a bit off the subject, but a good topic. My travel to that meeting had to be funded outside of Washington Sea Grant and was paid for by the federal grant that’s funding the project. I won’t be presenting a paper at a meeting on the east coast later this month because of belt tightening. Local travel is limited as well, which is particularly challenging with Kitsap’s geography. We should be finding creative ways to reduce our carbon footprint anyway. Check out…
    http://www.fish.washington.edu/research/oldenlab/pdf/2009/FrontiersEcoEnv_2009.pdf
    Cheers! JEff

  3. Well, as the university system gets further beyond the reach of a majority of Washington’s taxpayers, reducing frivolous expenditures (like east coast paper presentations) should be just as important as reducing the “carbon footprint”.

  4. “My travel to that meeting had to be funded outside of Washington Sea Grant and was paid for by the federal grant that’s funding the project.”

    What is the project, by the way?

  5. The project is an effort to deal with a potential aquatic invasive species pathway in a way that will be mutually beneficial for the supporting businesses (Biological supply houses and suppliers) and schools without removing plants and animals from the classroom. I’m sure I’ll address parts of it in this blog as time goes on. Partners include the West Coast Sea Grants, UW, the Great Lakes Sea Grants, Ontario, BC, and Florida. You might check out…
    http://www.fish.washington.edu/research/oldenlab/pdf/2008/AquaticInvasions_2008.pdf
    This paper is not directly tied to the project, but the topic it is related and the authors are involved.

    Travel as a frivolous expenditures is up for debate when you’re trying to address issues on a regional, national or international scale and alternatives need to be increasingly considered. I agree that we should be considering how to minimize travel from economic and environmental perspectives. Fortunately, tele- and videoconferencing are definitely on the rise. Best! JEff

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