Erich Hoyt’s first killer whale expedition to Johnstone Strait sailed from Victoria, BC in June 1973, 40 years ago this June. He proceeded to spend parts of the next 10 summers with orcas, culminating in his now classic book Orca: The Whale Called Killer. He went on to study and work on conservation projects related to other whales, dolphins, sharks, deep sea creatures, ants and social insects, working in Costa Rica, Japan, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Argentina, Chile and other countries.
In 1999 he co-founded the Far East Russia Orca Project (FEROP) to find out more about orca pods targeted for aquarium captures and to get Russian students involved in science and conservation of killer whales in Russian waters. Now in its 15th
year, FEROP has recorded the Russian pods and photo-IDed some 1500 orcas off Kamchatka and in the Commander Islands — including three white orcas
found so far in the study areas.
This is the fifth in a series of Orca Talks hosted by The Whale Trail. The event also features updates from Robin Lindsay (Seal Sitters), and Diver Laura James (tox-ick.org
and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance), and photography from Judy Lane.
About the Speaker
Erich Hoyt is a noted marine conservationist, whale researcher, lecturer and author of more than 20 books including Orca: The Whale Called Killer, The Earth Dwellers, and Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises, the latter recently named as an “Outstanding Academic Title” by the journal Choice.
He is an authority on marine protected areas (MPAs) and sanctuaries, and is currently Research Fellow with WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, leading its Global Critical Habitat MPA Program. He also co-directs the Far East Russia Orca Project in Kamchatka and the Russian Cetacean Habitat Project in the Commander Islands.
He is as an appointed member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Cetacean Specialist Group and the World Commission on Protected Areas, and co-chairs the new IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force. He is a member of the International Committee for Marine Mammal Protected Areas and has helped organize and program its world conferences in Hawaii (2009), Martinique (2011) and Australia (to be 2014).
A former Vannevar Bush Fellow in the Public Understanding of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and twice James Thurber Writer-in-Residence at The Thurber House, Hoyt was awarded the Mandy McMath Conservation Award in April this year by the European Cetacean Society at its annual conference for his body of work including books, papers and work on marine conservation. He is a Canadian-US dual citizen who has lived in Scotland since 1989.