Orca Network News - May, 2002
News, updates and events about
the Southern Resident orcas,
orcas worldwide, and their habitats
May 1, 2002 through May 31, 2002.
Keiko, wild orcas had family ties
May 28, 2002 (Seattle Times) A study released last week shows genetic links between Keiko and some wild Icelandic killer whales with whom he interacted during open-ocean excursions.
Keiko did not swim among siblings or members of his original pod.
Rather, the data show that genetic links were further removed - more like distant cousins, said Charles Vinick of Ocean Futures, the group that cares for Keiko.
All the same, the news cheered keepers in Iceland who are preparing to accompany the famous orca to sea for a third summer. There, they will try to place him near wild killer whales, ideally relatives.
Keiko swam with distant cousins May 27, 2002 (KING5-TV)
Message of the mountains: A climber's view on global warming
May 26, 2002 (Seattle Times Op-Ed by Jim Frush) ...in Peru a few years later, we attempted the north face of Haundoy. Photos taken years before showed a wonderful ice face. But, standing at its base, looking up, revealed a face full of rocks. We walked away, gave up our attempt.
Great stretches of the great north face ice routes in the Alps have also evaporated. Problems exist in New Zealand and Patagonia. In March, yet another section of the Antarctic ice shelf the size of Rhode Island collapsed due to a warming in the region. This section was over 1,200 square miles and measured 650 feet thick.
The economic impacts of this could be enormous. The ski industry could perish. Water would be lost, particularly in the eastern part of the state where rivers are sustained by snowmelt during the dry season. This would mean less hydropower and less irrigation. There would be less water for salmon that return during the summer seasons.
Worse still is the possibility that ocean warming could drive salmon out of the North Pacific altogether. Some global warming trajectories suggest that by mid-century, salmon might not find the cool waters they need short of the Bering Sea. As salmon moved north, so would the orcas.
One would think that the specter of a glacier-free Glacier National Park would be enough to spur governmental action. Not so. Early on, the Bush administration walked away from the Kyoto Protocol and its goals of stabilizing the emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
If we continue to listen only to the oil companies, then we'll someday be telling our grandchildren that this was once a place where you could ski an hour outside of town and see orcas in the San Juan Islands.
Let's listen to the age-old wisdom of the mountains before their majestic white peaks disappear forever.
Risky rescue of ailing orca 'worth doing'
May 25, 2002 (Seattle Times) After months of deliberation and anxiety, federal officials yesterday said they plan to capture an orphaned orca in Puget Sound and attempt to reunite it with its native pod of Canadian killer whales.
The fisheries service rescue plan would run in three phases:
• The Rescue: The orca would be lured into a net pen. If she can't be lured, she will be caught with a sling or other device.
• The Rehabilitation: A-73 would spend at least two weeks in the pen somewhere in Puget Sound while being evaluated and treated. Veterinarians are already well aware that she has a skin condition, worms and an acetonelike breath that typically suggests a metabolism problem but has so far defied analysis. Some observers say they've seen her skin condition creeping into her blowhole lately, risking a hard-to-treat system infection if it reaches her lungs.
If the fisheries service and Canadian authorities feel A-73 can be released without harming her native A pod, she then will be transported to Johnstone Strait, roughly halfway up the northeast side of Vancouver Island.
Plan to relocate orca called 'high-risk'
May 25, 2002 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Orca to be captured, returned to Canada
May 24, 2002 (KING5 TV) The National Marine Fisheries Service decided Friday to capture an ailing orphan orca that's been languishing in the Puget Sound for several months and return her to the Canadian waters of her native pod.
Officials of the service said that while it would be a high-risk operation, it would be best to remove her from the busy waters off Vashon Island as soon as possible. After a few weeks of rehabilitation, the whale would be relocated to Canada's Johnstone Strait, the summer home of her pod.
Whaling panel gives Makahs 5 more years to hunt grays
May 24, 2002 (Seattle Times) On the final day of a bitterly contested meeting, the International Whaling Commission renewed a five-year whaling quota, allowing Washington's Makah Indians and Russia's indigenous groups to continue hunting Pacific gray whales.
The tiny Makah Tribe was unanimously granted a quota of 20 gray whales, while the Russians will be allowed to "harvest" 500 of the giant marine mammals through 2008.
Makah Tribe is granted 5 more years of whaling May 24, 2002 (Seattle P-I)
May 23, 2002 (Seattle Weekly) IF YOU LIKED the logic by which the Supreme Court blocked the Florida recount and selected Bush as president, you'll love the decision by a federal judge in Seattle allowing a major oil-port expansion in Washington's supposedly protected inland waters. It's a decision UW law professor William Rogers calls "so bad" that he's made it a cautionary example in his course on environmental law. And if the decision stands, it will blow a hole in the hallowed Magnuson Amendment big enough to drive an oil tanker through. Or many oil tankers.
Keiko Swimming Among Kin
May 23, 2002 (Ocean Futures) Genetics Study Reveals Maternal Links Between Captive and Wild Orca Whales
Keiko, the orca star of Hollywood's Free Willy, may be getting closer to finally swimming off into the sunset with wild orcas. This optimistic outlook for the world's most famous whale comes from a genetics study which reveals that Keiko is swimming with orcas from his birth 'community' during some of the ocean "walks" he's been taking for the past two summers. The evidence of links between Keiko and Iceland's wild orca population has given a much-needed boost to Keiko's prospects, and to the dedicated team that looks after him.
Scientists regard orca whales as the world's most closely bonded social animals. Family groups are matrilineal within which the mother plays the central role, socially and genetically. Members retain their ties for life. Orca families that are related to each other typically live within an extensive but fairly defined ocean area, forming a "community." The genetic tests done so far can identify those maternal communities.
At the beginning we thought Keiko might go off with other orcas as soon as he met them, but now we know that he's involved in a delicate dance that may take years to complete. Meanwhile, knowing that Keiko has been associating with his extended family tells us that he truly is at home."
Warming Streams Could Wipe Out Salmon, Trout
May 23, 2002 (Environmental News Service) Rising water temperatures caused by global warming could drive trout and salmon from many U.S. waterways, warns a new report from two environmental groups. Their study of eight species of fish suggests that the cold water habitat required by these species could shrink by more than 40 percent over the next century if steps are not taken to curb emissions of greenhouse gases.
U.S., Russia rejected on whaling quota
May 23, 2002 (Seattle Times) A request from the United States and Russia to renew quotas for aboriginal whaling, including Pacific gray whale harvests sought by Washington's Makah Indians, was rejected by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) today.
The rejection is the first of its kind by the 56-year-old IWC. It partly reflects the frustration of Japan and other nations that have lobbied for whaling quotas for their own people. It could trigger intense negotiations and another vote with a different outcome.
But if it sticks Washington, Alaska and Russia aboriginal whalers in the awkward position of either ceding to the commission's ruling - or going forth with whaling and risking international censure.
NMFS considers capturing whale and moving it to Canada
May 21, 2002 (Seattle P-I) Scientists monitoring the ailing, orphaned killer whale who's been in central Puget Sound since at least mid-January recommended Monday that she be captured for a more hands-on assessment of her health, and then moved near her family in Canada.
But the government is still weighing whether to intervene at all. The National Marine Fisheries Service, which arranged Monday's teleconference with the advisory group, expects to make a decision soon, said spokeswoman Janet Sears.
An earlier intervention plan had involved a three-stage move in net pens - capture, a stint near Vancouver for care by Vancouver Aquarium veterinary personnel and finally relocation in Johnstone Strait for eventual release.
Monday's recommendation would eliminate the middle step and simplify the process.
Panel Recommends Capturing Orphaned Orca
May 20, 2002 (KIRO-TV) An advisory panel of whale experts recommends than an orphaned orca in Puget Sound be captured and held in a pen for medical tests.
Janet Sears with the National Marine Fisheries Service says
the federal agency may make a decision soon on the capture. It's still weighing the possible benefits with the risk of capture.
Whale researcher dives into the world of orcas
May 19, 2002 (Seattle Times)
Note: seldom is a new book so worthy of attention by orca lovers and advocates. Go here for info on how to buy this book.
Alexandra Morton was a renegade science student when she dropped out of college and began studying dolphins and orca whales. She worked with dolphin expert John Lilly, studied orcas at the marine park Marineland south of Los Angeles, and made her home in orca country on an isolated central British Columbia coast.
Morton's "Listening to Whales" is the story of her 25 years studying cetaceans. Morton arrived on the whale-watching scene in the 1970s, as scientists began using fins to identify orcas.
"Listening to Whales" details the devastating effects of captivity on orcas, but does so subtly. Morton walks the reader through her documentation of the effects of captivity on whales, detailing the limited world of the Shamus who entertained in theme parks. Most children, she says, remain unimpressed by the whales, either ignoring them or outright pestering them. In the end, she does not see the reason for captivity at all.
Listening to the orcas
May 18, 2002 (Everett Herald) Whale researcher Alexandra Morton is clear about what she thinks should happen to A-73, the 2-year-old calf whose pod spends summers east of Vancouver Island: "I have friends who are willing to pick up the orca (and) within six hours she'll be back with her pod (where) nature will take its course."
It can be done without more studies, without containment facilities and without condemning the orca to life in a confined facility, she said.
Dead orca identified as member of L pod
May 18, 2002 (Seattle P-I) The dead orca discovered near Long Beach last month was a member of a whale family that frequents Puget Sound -- not a so-called offshore killer whale as originally thought, orca experts said yesterday.
The female orca, known as L-60 and by its nickname, "Rascal," showed no obvious cause of death. Results of tests on the corpse to help determine what killed it have not been completed.
The whale was only 30. Orcas usually enjoy life spans similar to those of humans.
She appeared to have recently given birth. Previously, she bore two calves, one in 1990 that died in 1997 and a second in 1995 that appears to still be alive.
Researchers say the death is one of a number of mysterious fatalities in the whale family known as L pod, one of three Puget Sound pods and the one that has seen the most mortality in recent years.
Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research in Friday Harbor, who has studied the orcas since the 1970s, said scientists are eagerly awaiting the results of tests on the corpse.
The buildup of industrial chemicals in the whales, a lack of food because of dwindling salmon runs and other not-yet-understood factors appear to be behind a sharp decline in the whales' population since the mid-1990s. The most recent count showed 78 Puget Sound orcas.
"In the first 20 years of our study, we would never have seen one that young dying," Balcomb said. "There's something happening."
Dead whale was Dyes Inlet visitor in 1997 May 17, 2002 (Bremerton Sun)
Gray-whale numbers shrink by thousands
May 18, 2002 (Seattle Times) The population of Eastern North Pacific gray whales has dropped in the past four years from an estimated high of more than 26,000 to less than 18,000, alarming environmentalists but drawing no major concern from federal scientists who monitor the once-endangered whales.
Environmentalists see the drop as a sign that the whale's population is still threatened by hunting, pollution, climate change and dwindling food supplies.
"If these numbers are correct, it's a very dramatic, very sharp decline in a short time period," said Michael Markarian, executive vice president of the Fund for Animals, which was in federal court this week, trying to stop the Makah tribe from hunting the whales.
Study: Farmed salmon high in PCBs
May 17, 2002 (Toronto Globe and Mail) A Canadian researcher who has found elevated levels of PCBs in British Columbia farmed salmon has published a scientific paper saying that eating as little as one meal a week of the fish could be dangerous.
The farmed fish contained nearly 10 times the toxic load of some types of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, as wild salmon.
"The use of fish oil and fishmeal in feed serves not only to produce high-energy feeds with good growth performance qualities, but also to act as a pipeline for contaminants into the human food chain," the paper concludes.
Blood test clears orca of genetic flaw
May 17, 2002 (Seattle Times) - Blood tests on the ailing orphaned orca in Puget Sound show it does not have a genetic disorder that might have prevented it from being reintroduced to its Canadian waters this summer.
Adding to the pressure on the service was U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., who yesterday urged Bob Lohn, fisheries-service regional director, to create a "definitive action plan and commit to a timetable."
No genetic disorder detected in orca, raising hopes of pod reunion
May 17, 2002 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Tests show orca doesn't have genetic disorder
May 16, 2002 (KING5 TV) (no longer online)
Salmon Advocates Say Fed's Plan is Headed for a Train Wreck
May 16, 2002 (Save Our Wild Salmon - Press Release) Portland, OR: Yesterday federal officials announced that they were "on track" to meet the requirements of the federal government's plan to protect and restore salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake River Basin. Salmon advocates rejected this statement claiming it veiled the realities of last year's deadly juvenile salmon migration and misrepresents the failures in funding and implementing the federal plan.
"If this train is on track, then I want off," said Nicole Cordan, Policy & Legal Director, Save Our Wild Salmon. "Because if we're on track, we're heading for a train wreck and it's called extinction.
Let's end our addiction to fish hatcheries
May 16, 2002 (Portland Oregonian) From their beginnings, hatcheries were not intended to help fish.
Hatcheries were brought to this region in the 1800s to feed the voracious appetite of canneries, harvesters and consumers by a generation unwilling to live within the limits of its natural resources. They provided happy camouflage to the fact that we were taking more from the salmon than the salmon could sustain.
The ensuing century's combination of artificially inflated salmon harvests, dams for hydropower, logging and agricultural irrigation further hammered down on the ability of salmon runs to sustain themselves. Today, with more than 80 percent of all salmon habitat lost or compromised throughout the region, wild salmon flicker at less than 4 percent of their historic abundance.
B.C. gives more time on orca
May 16, 2002 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) Aquarium President John Nightingale warned that unless the whale is captured and her medical problems remedied, "It's going to die, day by day, on the evening news."
But the fisheries service said it is waiting for blood-test results to reveal whether the orca, known as A-73 as well as its official nickname, Springer, has an incurable genetic disorder. The results could take until early next week.
"Once the whale is captured, if it is subsequently discovered that the whale has a chronic, untreatable health problem that would preclude her from being reunited, then we would be faced with ... a choice between two equally repugnant alternatives: Put her in an aquarium for permanent treatment, or at least permanent capture; or somehow return her to Puget Sound, where she's been all along," said Brian Gorman, the fisheries service spokesman in Seattle.
Time running out for orca's rescue May 16, 2002 (Vancouver Province) (no longer online)
B.C. aquarium: Decide by today on orca - or else
May 15, 2002 (Seattle Times) The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre has given U.S. officials until today to decide if they will attempt to rescue the ailing orphaned orca off Vashon Island and one more week to capture her.
Otherwise, aquarium officials say, it will withdraw an offer to help bring the female orca back to Canada in an attempt to reintroduce her to her native pod
Early results show she does not have diabetes or morbillivirus, a deadly, hard-to-treat virus. She is anemic, probably from blood lost to parasites in her gut, said Barrett-Lennard, and has a high white-blood-cell count, likely from an infection.
But results have yet to come in for a suspected genetic metabolic problem that would be treatable but incurable. Those results could come in a day or two.
Vancouver Aquarium wants decision on orphaned orca by Wednesday (no longer online) May 15, 2002 (KING5 TV)
Seaquarium ejects 'Free Lolita' couple
May 13, 2002 (Miami Herald) Animal rights activists mar performance.
Two demonstrators calling for the release of killer whale Lolita were removed from the Miami Seaquarium on Sunday for disrupting the whale's noon performance in front of 1,000 spectators.
The incident took place on the afternoon when two animal rights groups protested the park's holding of the 35-year-old orca on Mother's Day, a demonstration that is becoming an annual rite of passage.
ARFF and Orca Network members say Lolita would live longer if returned to her mother's pod off the Washington coast. They say the orca's fate is brighter than Keiko's, who was immortalized in the film Free Willy. Scientists believe Keiko cannot be reunited with her family.
For the fourth straight year, animal rights groups protested along Key Biscayne's Rickenbacker Causeway, choosing Mother's Day because ''Lolita was stolen from her mother,'' Lischin said.
Lischin claimed Seaquarium officials and police used excessive force on the two demonstrators, a statement that Arceo dismisses.
Lolita was captured near Puget Sound on Aug. 8, 1970. The Seaquarium insists the orca would not survive in her original habitat.
A responsibility to save or leave alone?
May 12, 2002 (Seattle Times) "I don't think our road is going to be an easy one," said Brian Gorman, spokesman for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), "because we have to make some tough decisions. I don't think the prospects for this whale are very sunny."
Statistically, an orca in captivity lives a shorter life than an orca in the wild, said Toni Frohoff, a Bainbridge Island resident and marine-mammal consultant for the Humane Society of the United States. If captivity is an option, she said, it is better to let A-73 die in the wild.
"We believe that if we put the animal in a tank, we would still be watching the animal die," she said. "It would just be a more prolonged death."
"At this stage, I think they should just leave it alone," said Munro, the former secretary of state.
Inner-ear changes made whales acrobatic swimmers
May 10, 2002 (Environmental News Service) Whales originated from land animals that looked like pigs, but changes in their inner ear helped them evolve into acrobatic swimmers, scientists said this week.
By studying fossils of early whales, a team of international scientists have uncovered clues about the evolution of cetaceans - whales, dolphins, and porpoises - and how and when they adapted into such agile sea creatures.
Whales left land permanently about 45 million years ago. "We may have discovered the point of no return (explaining) why cetaceans are the only animals that went back to the sea completely," Fred Spoor, of University College London, said in an interview.
Whales and other cetaceans have a unique sense of balance because of semicircular canals, which sense head movement, in their inner ears that are much smaller for their body size compared to other mammals. In humans, sea sickness and dizziness from fair rides result when something goes wrong with the organ of balance. But in whales the ear canals are so tiny they are less sensitive to rapid, acrobatic movement.
Record salmon escapement in 2001 a result of sound co-management
May 9, 2002 (Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission) In what tribal and state management experts say is an important step forward in salmon recovery, record numbers of chinook, pink, and coho salmon returned to their spawning grounds in 2001 in the Snohomish basin.
For chinook salmon in the Snohomish system, including the Snohomish, Skykomish and Snoqualmie rivers, the co-managers were able to achieve the highest escapement since at least 1965. Pink and coho salmon escapements were also at record levels in the Snohomish, with pink totals reaching almost four times the previous high. "Escapement" is the number of fish allowed to spawn in order to sustain a run at a desired level.
"This shows that we're doing all we can from the harvest management side. Through great sacrifices by fishing communities, the tribal and state co-managers are allowing most of the returning salmon to reach their spawning grounds," said Terry Williams, Commissioner of Fisheries and Natural Resources with the Tulalip Tribes. "Now we are challenging the habitat to produce fish from these spawning salmon – and challenging ourselves to keep crucially important habitat restoration and protection efforts coming."
Salmon recovery aid drying up
May 9, 2002 (Olympian) Billy Frank Jr., a Nisqually tribal member and chairman of the fisheries commission, sounded a theme he has sounded before: the Puget Sound ecosystem, including the salmon, can't survive under a continued onslaught of population growth and development.
"We've got to slow down instead of building more and more," he said. "We're running out of time."
Indians look at ways to revive ailing salmon industry
May 9, 2002 (Seattle Post -Intelligencer)
Toxic whale confounds scientists
May 9, 2002 (Toronto Globe and Mail) Tests on dead orca show that chemicals banned 20 years ago still potent in oceans
Dr. Ross said his previous research showed that PCBs in harbour seals in Europe harmed the animals' immune systems and their reproductive systems.
However, Lance Barrett-Lennard of the Vancouver Aquarium suggested that if it suffered neurological damage it might have lost its ability to navigate.
Scientists check orphaned orca's blood
May 8, 2002 (KING5-TV) From a government boat, scientists and a veterinarian began the job of drawing blood from the orca that has lived in a stretch near Vashon Island for nearly 4 months.
The idea is to get a blood sample from her dorsal fin – enough blood to determine if her strange breath, described as smelling like paint thinner, is due to a genetic problem.
"To determine if this whale has an inborn metabolic problem that precludes her from returning to her pod," said Brian Gorman, National Marine Fisheries Service.
"I can't over-emphasize that to capture this animal prematurely could mean a one-way trip to a display facility – and I don't think anybody wants that," said Gorman.
Salmon habitat designations are dissolved pending study of economics
May 8, 2002 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) Critical-habitat designations for 19 groups of Pacific salmon stretching from Mexico to Canada have been dissolved by a judge in Washington, D.C., while the government considers the economic consequences of saving the fish from extinction.
The judge accepted a settlement between the National Marine Fisheries Service, the federal agency overseeing salmon restoration, and the National Association of Home Builders, which brought a lawsuit challenging the critical-habitat designations, the two parties said this week.
A builder will still have to consult with NMFS under the Endangered Species Act to see if the project would hurt salmon. The consultation would still consider whether the project jeopardizes the fish's survival as a species, but would no longer include whether the project will harm critical habitat, Lecky said.
Bush Asks Senate to Ratify Treaty
May 8, 2002 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) President Bush asked the Senate on Tuesday to ratify a treaty phasing out a dozen highly toxic chemicals, but Democrats complained that legislation the White House favors lack a means to eliminate future pollutants.
Most pollutants among the group commonly referred to as the "dirty dozen" - PCBs, dioxins and furans, along with DDT and other pesticides - no longer are used in industrialized countries such as the United States but are widely used in poor countries.
Dead orca is a 'red alert'
May 7, 2002 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) Very high level of PCBs in whale raises alarms.
The orca found dead on the Olympic Peninsula earlier this year carried a level of contaminants that was among the highest -- if not the highest -- ever measured in killer whales, laboratory tests show.
The 22-foot-long female orca was so full of polychlorinated biphenyls that when scientists first attempted to test her fat, the result was too high for the machines to read it.
PCBs were used widely across North America as coolants and lubricants for electrical equipment and in other industrial uses until they were banned in 1977. Because they persist a long time in the environment without breaking down, PCBs have been spread extremely far -- even to remote Arctic locations rarely visited by people.
The levels being discovered in animals here are worrisome, researchers say.
"We're trying to figure out where these darn PCBs are coming from," said Peter Ross, a marine mammal toxicologist with the Canadian government's Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney, B.C. "Puget Sound is a PCB hot spot in the regional environment."
Advisory panel wants orphaned orca's ills treated; U.S. says no
May 7, 2002 (Seattle Times) Federal officials are standing firm on a decision to leave alone the ailing orphaned orca off Vashon Island, despite the clear consensus of an advisory panel that something should be done soon to rehabilitate the animal and return her to her native waters in British Columbia.
"I don't anticipate anything happening soon even though there is a contingent of people that think we're temporizing and dithering," said Brian Gorman, spokesman for the National Marine Fisheries Service. "We're not."
Meanwhile, attempting to rescue, rehabilitate and reintroduce the whale carries several risks of failure, Gorman said. The whale could be captured and turn out to have a chronic metabolism problem, barring reintroduction to her native pod. Officials then might feel they have no choice but to put her in an aquarium.
Oregon fishers resort to 'CPR' to save endangered fish
May 7, 2002 (Environmental News Service) Before he can return the salmon to the Columbia River, however, he revives it with a sort of CPR for fish. He lowers the salmon into a tank with pipes inside. A small Honda pump starts up, and oxygen-rich river water is circulated over the salmon's gills and mouth.
The idea is to make sure that when the salmon is returned to the river, it will be strong enough to survive. "It rubs me the wrong way to throw back salmon. But it's that or nothing. And these are valuable fish," said the 73-year-old Ihander, who has fished in the river since the 1940s and has seen the gradual decline of fish stocks as dams, riverside development, and overfishing whittled away at populations.
Resuscitation is a new federal and state requirement of fishers who cast tangle nets in the lower part of the river in March and April, when they inevitably snare spring chinook salmon, some of which are on the endangered species list.
NMFS discourages whale watching (no longer online)
May 4, 2002 (Bremerton Sun) - Christopher Dunagan
With the start of boating season today, the National Marine Fisheries Service urges people not to seek out the orphan killer whale that has been staying in Central Puget Sound since mid-January. If the young whale is spotted, boaters are urged to keep moving slowly past
and not stop or drift within 400 yards of the animal, said Brian Gorman of NMFS.
A flyer with more details can be downloaded from the Website: www.whale-museum.org/Press/SpringerFlyer.pdf.
The Whale Museum's Soundwatch boater education program will be on the water
this weekend to keep people back from the whale. Anyone who sees a boat too
close to any killer whale may call the National Enforcement Hotline, (800)
Meanwhile, whale-watchers are encouraged to look for lone orca calf from the
Vashon Island-Fauntleroy ferry.
A marine naturalist from the group Orca Network, Judy Lochrie, is scheduled to be on the 1:10 ferry from Fauntleroy and make several trips back and forth.
Pressure builds to list killer whales
May 3, 2002 (Bremerton Sun) A letter informs federal officials of a possible lawsuit to protect Puget Sound's orcas.
An environmental group pushing to list Puget Sound's killer whales as endangered intends to increase its legal pressure on the National Marine Fisheries Service.
A 60-day notice of a possible lawsuit was to be mailed today by the Center for Biological Diversity, which drafted the initial petition to list the orcas as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
On Thursday, it was exactly one year since the center and other groups petitioned to list the three pods of killer whales that frequent Puget Sound.
Within one year, the law requires federal officials to announce whether they intend to move ahead with a listing, drop the idea or study the matter further.
Experts urge capturing baby orca; federal agency not yet convinced
May 2, 2002 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) Increasingly worried about the physical condition of the orphaned baby orca off Vashon Island, a scientific panel advising federal fisheries officials says it's time to capture the killer whale at least long enough to get a blood sample.
And she will probably need some medical treatment, the scientists say.
But the National Marine Fisheries Service says it has no such intention.
B.C. fish farm ban extension sought
May 1, 2002 (Anchorage Daily News) Juneau -- Gov. Tony Knowles on Tuesday called on the government of British Columbia to continue a moratorium on new fish farms.
Knowles said problems associated with farmed salmon in British Columbia have increased in recent months, including the spread of disease among farmed fish.
In addition, biologists fear the thousands of Atlantic salmon that escaped from fish farms in recent years could threaten wild Pacific salmon.
Salmon stream to be protected
May 1, 2002 (Seattle Times) Chelan County - A portion of Nason Creek, an important salmon-bearing stream in the Cascades, will be protected under a plan arranged by the Trust for Public Land and the U.S. Forest Service.
Thirty-two acres will be incorporated into the Wenatchee National Forest under the stewardship agreement announced yesterday.
Legal challenge targets 2 salmon-killing dams
Back to Orca News Archives
May 1, 2002 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) Fishermen and conservationists yesterday launched a legal challenge to the way two salmon-killing dams are operated on the Columbia River.
The National Wildlife Federation, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations and two other groups notified the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Grant County Public Utility District of alleged violations of the Endangered Species Act.
Endangered juvenile chinook salmon and steelhead are killed in the Priest Rapids and Wanapum dams as the fish migrate to the Pacific Ocean, scientists have shown.