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Orca Network is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of the whales of the Pacific Northwest, and the importance of providing them healthy and safe habitats.


October 24, 2015, another new J pod baby discovered!


2016 Orca Network Baja Gray Whale Trip - February 28 - March 3, 2016


On August 8, 1970 nearly a hundred members of the Southern Resident Killer Whale Community were herded into Penn Cove on Whidbey Island. Five whales drowned, seven young whales were stolen from their families. Only one survives today. Her name is Lolita.

Every year on August 8th those who fight for her right to come home gather to honor her and those who lost their lives. This is just part of the day spent in honor of those whales 45 years later.
Penn Cove Orca Capture - 45th Anniversary Commemoration

If you're out boating and spot a pod of orcas, please follow the BeWhaleWise regulations and guidelines, and stay at least 200 yards from the orcas. And make sure to post a sightings report and photos here!


Click on petition to sign.

Orca Network Ways of Whales Workshop 2015 presentation videos

Five new baby orcas have been discovered since December 2014 in the endangered Southern Resident orca community.

Baby L122 (male) with mom L91 Muncher. Photo by David Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research, September 7, 2015.

Baby J52 (male) with mom J36 Alki. Photo by David Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research, April 7, 2015.

Baby L121 (male) by mom L94 Calypso by Candace Emmons, NWFSC, February 25, 2015.

Baby J51 (male) with mom J41 Eclipse by David Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research, April 14, 2015.

Baby J50 (female) with mom J16 Slick, discovered Dec. 30, 2014. Photo by Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research.

Puget Sound Land-Based Whale Sighting View Points
Each year around the first of October the Southern Resident orcas begin foraging in Puget Sound, mainly in search of chum salmon. To help observers find good locations to view the whales Orca Network has assembled the best viewing spots between Anacortes and Tacoma into a google map that can be zoomed in to find directions to each beach, roadside, or bluff for optimum viewing. If you live near Puget Sound, Possession Sound, Saratoga Passage, Admiralty Inlet, or Fidalgo Island, you can find the best whale-watching spots near you by clicking HERE.


The Langley Whale Center opened March 1, 2014.
Check out the Langley Whale Center Facebook page.

n extended clan of Orcinus orca, or orcas, socialize and forage in the inland waters of Washington State and British Columbia. Both male and female offspring remain with their mothers their entire lives. No other species, and not all orca communities, show lifetime association of mothers with both male and female offspring. Cultural traditions such as lifetime family bonding allow distinct vocal repertoires and complex social systems to develop within each pod and community, unlike any other mammal except humans. Their dialects are similar to human language groups, and assure them a place in their society. Known as the Southern Resident Orca community, or the Salish Sea Orcas, they move gracefully just downstream from an increasingly urban landscape.

Worldwide field studies are now showing that there are several dozen orca communities distributed throughout marine habitats, each with its own vocal repertoire, its own specialized diet, its own hunting methods and social systems, and each is genetically distinct from all the others. We are on the verge of recognition by the scientific community that orcas can be considered as nomadic foraging tribes, living according to traditions passed down generation after generation, for many thousands of years.

But all is not well. Orcas need clean, uncontaminated water and plentiful fish. Chinook salmon, the Salish Sea orcas' main food source, are in historic decline throughout the region. Habitat degradation, industrial poisons such as PCBs, PBDEs and other impacts of human activities are taking their toll on the orcas we have come to know and love. We are all intricately connected, from tiny plankton to forage fish, salmon, orcas, tall firs and cedars, mountains, rivers and the ocean. It is time to reflect, to reconnect, and to respond as better caretakers of our planet.

Looking for an informative and readable essay on the natural history of orcas?
Go to Orcas of the Salish Sea.


January 30, 2014 - Blackfish Universal announces that Blackfish will soon be distributed in Asia, Italy, Portugal, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Scandinavia, and Latin America. Other territories where Blackfish is already in distribution include German and French speaking Europe, Spain, The Netherlands, and a multi-territory deal with Netflix.

This award-winning documentary has been shown at film festivals and in theaters across the country and beyond, and features interviews with Orca Network's Howard Garrett, talking about the traumatic 1970s orca captures and the orcas' astounding natural history, languages and family bonds. How long do orcas live? For a discussion of orca lifespans, please see Orca Lifespans.

This film is exposing the severe stresses captive orcas endure, leading to reduced life spans, and it significantly advances prospects that Lolita - the L pod orca captured in Penn Cove in 1970 - will one day return to Washington to retire in her home waters. Please see the Orca Network proposal to retire Lolita.

Join Dr. Ingrid Visser as she visits Lolita the Orca in A Day in the Life of Lolita - a Performing Orca, a short documentary shot in Miami and produced by Daniel Azarian.

The site is currently being updated. If you need to access something that is not yet updated you can view the old website here: Orca Network Old Site. Thank You for your patience during this transition!


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