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Presentation 3/26 – 2015 Killer Whale Research Study with Brad Hanson

New calf L121 and mother L94 with NOAA research ship in background. Photo by Candice Emmons, NWFSC, NOAA Permit #16163

Researchers recently spent 21 days aboard the NOAA ship Bell M. Shimada, tracking endangered Southern Resident killer whales (SRKWs) off the coasts of Washington and Oregon. Good weather and ocean conditions allowed researchers exceptional access to the whales, including the first sighting of new calf L121, during their winter foraging period.

The winter survey addressed a high research priority to fill a major gap in our understanding of SRKWs life history—where these whales go during the winter, what they do, and what they eat.

Join us 3/26 for  this special presentation by Dr. Brad Hanson, NWFSC lead killer whale researcher.  Be the first to hear what researchers observed, and how data collected on this cruise will help recover J, K and L pods.

This is the first in the 2015 series Orca Talks hosted by The Whale Trail in West Seattle. The event also features updates from Robin Lindsay (Seal Sitters), and Diver Laura James (

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

When: Thursday March 26, 7 – 8:30 pm.
–Doors open at 6:15
Where: C&P Coffee Company, 5612 California Ave SW
Cost: $5 suggested donation; kids free
Advance tickets:
Presented by The Whale Trail

About the Speaker

Brad Hanson joined the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in April of 2003. Previously, Brad worked as a Wildlife Biologist at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle, WA. Brad received a Ph.D. from the University of Washington where he worked on the development of improved tag attachment systems for small cetaceans. He also holds an M.S. in Fisheries from the University of Washington and a B.A. in Zoology also from the University of Washington. Brad is an ecologist and is currently studying foraging and habitat use of Southern Resident killer whales and health assessment of harbor and Dall’s porpoises.

Marine Wildlife Guidelines

It’s exciting to see marine mammals in the wild! Be prepared for your next outing by reading these guidelines:

Marine Wildlife Guidelines

Critical habitat revision for SRKWs from NOAA!

Good news for Southern Resident Killer Whales! On Feb. 24, 2015, NOAA agreed to take the next steps to designate the Pacific Coast from Cape Flattery to Point Reyes as critical habitat for J, K and L pods. (Congrats to the Center for Biological Diversity, which filed the petition!)

Critical Habitat for Southern Resident Killer Whales

New Calf in L-Pod!

Great news for orcas! NOAA reports a new calf in L-Pod, whose mother is assumed to be L-94. Researchers encountered the group during a cruise off the Washington coast. This is the 3rd new calf in the endangered southern resident population in 3 months. Congratulations to everyone!

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