Here’s where you’ll find news about orcas, marine mammals and the marine environment, from around the Pacific Northwest, and the world.

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RIP J2 (Granny)

Sad news to start the new year. The Center for Whale Research reports that J2, aka Granny, is missing and presumed dead. Granny was the oldest whale in the southern resident community, and the matriarch of J pod.

With Granny’s loss, the SRKW population consists of just 78 individuals – nearing their historical low- and J pod is down to just 24 members.

The best way to honor Granny is to better protect her family. Join with us in our resolve to create quieter seas, reduce toxin inputs, and restore salmon throughout their range.

RIP Granny, and safe passage to J pod, wherever you are tonight.

Loss of another SRKW

An 18-year old male orca, J-34 (or Double Stuf) was found dead near Sechelt BC on Tuesday. The whale was recovered and towed to shore on Wednesday. Cause of death has not been determined yet. Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is conducting a necropsy.

J-34 was the first known offspring of J-22 (Oreo), and the older brother of J-38 (Cookie). With his loss, the Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) population is now down to 79 whales.

Update 12/22: Preliminary necropsy results show that the whale likely died from blunt trauma, indicating he may have been victim of a ship strike.

Orca found on Sunshine Coast died of blunt force trauma, DFO says

Read more at CBC:
Dead orca found off B.C.’s Sunshine Coast

“SRKW: Species in the Spotlight” presentation by Lynne Barre 12/15

Join us for the first Orca Talk of 2016/17, featuring a presentation by Lynne Barre, NOAA Fisheries.

Last year NOAA launched the Species in the Spotlight initiative focused on stabilizing the populations of eight  endangered species at very high risk of extinction. Southern Residents are one of the Species in the Spotlight.  

With this effort NOAA is marshaling resources and focusing on partnerships to turn around the decline towards extinction and support conservation of endangered species. Lynne will highlight some recent recovery and conservation efforts for Southern Resident killer whales called for in the Species in the Spotlight Action Plan.

Buy tickets early to reserve your seat. And hurry! This will likely sell out.


Upcoming Events

Run for the whales, and The Whale Trail! Join us September 25 on Alki Beach in West Seattle. The Whale Trail is the beneficiary of the Orca Run, a 1/2 marathon event. The 13.1 mile course follows the West Seattle shoreline from Seacrest Marina to Lincoln Park, passing 4 Whale Trail sites along the way! The Orca Run is part of Seattle Summer Parkways, a festival that goes from 11 AM to 4 PM.

  • Sign up now to run, walk or volunteer.
  • Or just come to cheer on the runners, learn about orcas, and help us keep an eye out for the SRKW! Learn more here.  
  • And thanks to our partners at for selecting The Whale Trail to be the charity partner for this first-ever event. We are grateful!

Saturday, August 20th we’re participating in the Duwamish River Festival. Join us as we bring the whales to the river, and connect the story of the salmon and the orcas. Learn more here.


Tuesday August 23 we are hosting a volunteer meeting.  Join us at C&P Coffee to celebrate the last days of summer, and to plan a great year ahead along The Whale Trail.  Bring your ideas, your calendar, and your passion for the whales. More info here.


The Whale Trail is a nonprofit organization in partnership with
Partners NOAA Seattle Aquarium People for Puget Sound Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife The Whale Museum National Marine Sanctuaries