Killer Whale

dynamicoceans: Amazing Antarctica (253 of 269) by barry jay on Flickr.

SeaWorld trainers will not be able to swim with killer whales again

SeaWorld has decided not to appeal several citations from OSHA that it received after the 2010 drowning of a trainer who was swimming with a killer whale. The Associated Press reports that, as a result, SeaWorld trainers will not be able to swim with killer whales during shows in the future, which could help to remove some criticism from the park. SeaWorld’s initial appeal of the citations was rejected back in April, and it’s been keeping trainers out of the water since before then because of OSHA.

Puget Sound’s endangered killer whales continue decline

With two deaths this year and no new calves since 2012, the population of endangered killer whales in the Puget Sound continues to decline.
The number of whales in J, K and L pods has dropped to 78, a level not seen since 1985, according to a census by the Center for Whale Research (CWR). Adding to the concerns, the whales appear to be “splintering” from their pods, which are their basic social groups.
Since 1976, Ken Balcomb of the CWR has been observing the Puget Sound orcas, or “southern residents” as they’re known among scientists. Balcomb compiles an annual census of the population for submission to the federal government.
Historically, all three pods have come together in the San Juan Islands during summer months, often feeding and socialising in large groups, Balcomb noted. But for the past few years, the pods have divided themselves into small groups, sometimes staying together but often staying apart….
Balcomb suggests that the primary factor for the population decline is a lack of food for the killer whales, which generally prey on chinook salmon passing through the San Juan Islands on the way back to Canada’s Fraser River. The whales have a strong preference for chinook, typically larger and fatter fish, but they will eat other species of salmon and even other fish sometimes. “The salmon issue is huge, and it is ongoing,” Balcomb said.
Chinook runs continue to decline in most areas, and state and federal salmon managers seem unable to turn the situation around, he said. Society’s dependence on hatcheries, harvest and hydropower have diluted the wild salmon populations and made long-term recovery increasingly difficult.
The two orcas that are missing and presumed dead are L-53, a 37-year-old female named Lulu; and L-100, a 13-year-old male named Indigo. Lulu’s mother died in 2010, and she never had any siblings nor offspring of her own. Both were members of L pod, the Kitsap Sun reports.

(via The Guardian)

Southern Resident L25 Ocean Sun by carrie_sapp on Flickr.

Kalina the goof

Unicorns of the sea


Eigil, the only male harbor porpoise at Fjord & Baelt.

Photos by WildScope

(via mare-vitae)

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Dolphin Spin
please do not re-post/use without permission. DO NOT remove watermark.

Is that pox? Oh dear god.


Japan’s hunts of smaller whales, dolphins and porpoises threaten some species with extinction, an environmental group said Thursday.

Catch quotas are based on data collected as much as 20 years ago and some species have been overhunted beyond the point of recovery, the Environmental Investigation Agency said in its report.

The lucrative market in live catches for aquariums, especially in China, poses another risk, the report said. Live animals can sell for between $8,400 and $98,000, sometimes more than the roughly $50,000 from sales of meat for a single bottlenose dolphin.

Japan set its catch limit for small cetaceans at 16,655 in 2013, far below the 30,000 caught annually before limits were set in 1993 but still the largest hunt in the world.

Japan’s Fisheries Agency wouldn’t comment on the EIA report because it hasn’t seen it. Japan defends its coastal whaling as a longstanding tradition, source of livelihood and as necessary for scientific research.

The London-based independent conservation group said Japan is failing to observe its stated goal of sustainability and urged the country to phase out the hunts over the next decade.

"The government has a responsibility to restore and maintain cetacean species at their former levels," said Jennifer Lonsdale, a founding director of the EIA.

The status of each species varies, depending on its range and hunting practices. Catch limits for Dall’s porpoises are 4.7-4.8 times higher than the safe threshold, the report said.

For the striped dolphin, once the mainstay of the industry but now endangered and disappearing from some areas, catches have dropped from over 1,800 in the 1980s to about 100.

That is still four times the sustainable limit, the report said. It urged that the government update its data on the abundance of it and other species and stop transferring quotas from already overfished areas to areas that exceed their quotas.


(via derangedhyena-delphinidae)

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An orca hunting a Dall’s porpoise off the coast of Monterey Bay. The Dall’s porpoise is believed to be one of the fastest cetacean species, so taking one down must surely take some skill on the part of the orca here!


Today in the Strait of Juan de Fuca we found the T037Bs and T034s. 

(via bathe-the-whales)

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Lemon Shark by dlyoung on Flickr.

Wow | Alexis Coram

free the whale


untitled by Hysazu on Flickr.