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4 thoughts on “Where are the orcas? It’s hard to say, as the latest death is confirmed

  1. There needs to be a broader inquiry into including ocean cessium and various other radioactive pollution that has travelled across the Pacific and more planned to be released. Toxicity is a hormone and endocrine interrupter, not to mention just dying from exposure. Start testing the salmon, the water quality, the military testing, etc. All inclusive overall science.

  2. Another untimely loss for the southern residents, and another reason to be reminded that there are three reasons they are endangered: lack of salmon, toxin accumulations, and stress and noise from boats – not one of these things, but all.

    Vessel impacts make it harder southern residents to forage, hunt, and communicate with each other. When the whales are stressed or underweight, toxins may be released from their blubber into their bloodstream, making them more susceptible to disease.

    Restoring salmon runs is an important step to their recovery. Reducing boat noise and toxin inputs are also things that we can each and all do something about, now.

    While the whales disappear before our eyes, there are more whale-watching boats than ever, operating year-round, and throughout the orcas’ range. So long as the financial needs of this industry and the organizations they support are put ahead of the whales’ very right to exist, the whales are doomed.

    Fifteen years ago, we worked together as agencies, organizations and countries to return a single orca, Springer, to her pod. Springer is home and thriving because we learned how to work together and above all, because we put her best interest first.

    Hand-wringing won’t save the southern residents. We need a clear-eyed understanding of what the issues are, and shared determination to address them.

    I don’t know what sustainable whale-watching looks like for the southern residents, but the status quo is not working. Perhaps the whales will return to the Salish Sea when they have more acoustic space to forage, rest and live their lives.

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