The endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales spend a significant amount of time on the Pacific Coast, from Vancouver Island to Monterey, CA. In May, The Whale Trail and partners are collaborating with noted author and marine conservationist Erich Hoyt on a series of nine presentations throughout the orcas’ range.
Events will be held on Saturna Island (May 3) and Vancouver B.C. (May 20); Port Townsend (May 7), Port Angeles (May 8) and Seattle WA (May 18); Newport OR (May 10); and San Francisco (May 13), Monterey (May 14) and Santa Cruz CA (May 15).
“The Whale Trail’s goal is to promote awareness of J, K and L pods throughout their range, and inspire stewardship for the marine environment,” said Donna Sandstrom, The Whale Trail executive director and Orca Tour organizer. “We are thrilled to partner with Erich on this tour, and grateful for the host organizations and sponsors who have made it possible, from BC to California.”
Each tour stop will feature a presentation by Erich Hoyt exploring “Adventures with Orcas in the North Pacific—From A1 Stubbs to Iceberg, the White Russian Bull.”Erich is the author of the books, Orca: The Whale Called Killer and Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. A Research Fellow with Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) in the UK, he is co-founder of the Far East Russia Orca Project which has recorded the Russian killer whale 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.
White orca “Iceberg”, Commander Islands, Far East Russia. Photo by Evgeniya Lazareva, Far East Russia Orca Project (FEROP, WDC). All rights reserved.
“We are living in an era and in a part of the world where whale research has exploded,” says Erich Hoyt. “And we’ve got some amazing orca stories to tell here—mostly positive, some heartbreaking, but all compelling.”
Orca Tour partners include the Saturna Island Marine Education and Research Society, Georgia Strait Alliance and the Vancouver Public Library, Port Townsend Marine Science Center, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and the Fiero Marine Life Center, the Oregon chapter of the American Cetacean Society, the National Marine Sanctuaries West Coast Region, and NOAA Fisheries.
“There is no better place, overall, for marine wildlife watching in the world than the national marine sanctuaries offshore central California,” said William J. Douros, National Marine Sanctuaries’ regional director. “The Whale Trail is an outstanding program that can inspire greater appreciation for whales, boost local tourism and provide families with a great way to spend time together in the outdoors.”
“The Whale Trial is implementing actions in the Recovery Plan for the Southern Residents by raising awareness, encouraging land-based viewing, and promoting stewardship” said Lynne Barre, the lead for the killer whale recovery program at NOAA Fisheries. ”As a partner with the Whale Trail, we are engaging new audiences to support recovery of our endangered Southern Residents.”
Orca Tour information and local event information can be found at http://www.orcatour.org
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