Orca Network News - November, 2011

News, updates and events about
the Southern Resident orcas,
orcas worldwide, and their habitats
November 1, 2011 through November 30, 2011.

Morgan the whale loses fight for freedom
November 23, 2011 (BBC)
The little orca, or killer whale, is going to be moved from her current home in the Netherlands to a marine park in Spain.
Conservationists have been fighting to let Morgan be re-introduced into the wild off the coast of Norway.
But judges in Amsterdam decided that there was too big a risk that she wouldn't survive on her own in the wild.
Two-year-old Morgan was rescued after she was found weak and starving in the North Sea off the coast of the Netherlands last year.
In the wild orcas can live for up to 90 years, but in captivity they only live for around 20 years.

Dutch judge rejects pleas for killer whale freedom
November 21, 2011 (BBC)
The orca was rescued by a dolphinarium in Harderwijk after being found exhausted and starving in shallow waters in the Waddenzee in June 2010.
Conservationists are devastated by Monday's ruling, fearing the move to the Canaries will kill Morgan.
The judge in Amsterdam decided however that the orca would have no reasonable chance of survival in the wild.
The plan is to transfer Morgan within days to Loro Parque on Tenerife, where she will join five other orcas in a big tank, on show to the public.

For the love of Luna
November 17, 2011 (Windsor Star)
Parfit and Chisholm premiered the resulting film, Saving Luna, in 2007. It attracted some attention and a smattering of rave reviews, but failed to make the Free Willy leap into the mainstream.
Enter Reynolds and then-partner Scarlett Johansson. As newlyweds, they saw the film and decided to get behind it as executive producers in a bid to get it out there to a broader audience. And although they're now divorced, Reynolds says the legal stuff is no concern.
"To be honest, I don't even know about any of that stuff," he says. "This may sound naive, but I don't even know if I have a percentage of the profits. I don't know and I don't care."
Reynolds says the only reason he got involved in The Whale was because he was moved by the story. "I'm just a pilot fish on this thing," he says. "I got involved because I loved the original film so much."

Lawsuit seeks to free Lolita
November 17, 2011 (Miami Herald)
Animal rights activists are expanding a novel legal campaign to free killer whales at Florida’s marine attractions.
Two groups on Thursday sued the National Marine Fisheries Service, accusing the agency of illegally carving out an exemption in 2005 that denied Lolita, an orca that has lived and performed at the Miami Seaquarium for 40 years, protection under endangered species laws. “This regulatory ‘gift’ to an industry notorious for making orcas’ lives miserable is not only incredibly cruel but blatantly illegal,” said Jeffrey Kerr, general counsel for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which filed the federal lawsuit in the state of Washington with the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Last month, PETA also sued SeaWorld Orlando, contending the attraction is keeping its five killer whales in conditions that violate the 13th Amendment ban on slavery — allegations SeaWorld dismissed as baseless.

Baby orca found dead on beach: 'This is a very valuable specimen'
November 15, 2011 (KVAL)
A newborn killer whale washed ashore on the beach Monday.
The small female whale, measuring just less than 8 feet, was recovered by Fish and Wildlife officer Brett Hopkins.
Seaside Aquarium manger, Keith Chandler, met Hopkins in Illawalco where they transferred the whale.
Chandler was then able to get the whale to marine mammal expert Dalin D'Alessandro who took the whale back with her to Portland State University.
Dr. Debbie Duffield was to perform a necropsy on the baby Killer Whale Tuesday at Portland State University, the Seaside Aquarium said.

Northwest salmon fisheries may have to share with killer whales
November 10, 2011 (Oregonian)
Orcas attack prey as large as gray whales and as small as herring. But the endangered orcas of the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands have adapted to eating mostly Chinook salmon, another threatened species.
Protecting both poses a complicated challenge for wildlife managers, who also must consider the interests of numerous tribes with treaty rights to the salmon and people who fish for a living.
Given the orcas' need for enormous quantities of fish, some scientists believe authorities will need to cut back an already limited Chinook salmon fishery to rebuild the population of orcas, or killer whales. On a diet of Chinook salmon, the southern population of these killer whales must eat about 790 to 950 fish per day to meet its energy needs, one recent study estimated.

Whidbey’s Orca Network takes up gauntlet against dams
November 8, 2011 (Whidbey News Times)
Orca Network presents an evening about the amazing life and history of salmon, and the effect of dams on endangered salmon runs in the Pacific Northwest - salmon runs endangered Southern Resident orcas depend upon for survival.
Join Orca Network Thursday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Coupeville Recreation Hall for a presentation, book reading and discussion with Steven Hawley, author of “Recovering a Lost River,” which presents a powerful argument for why dam removal makes good scientific, economic and environmental sense.
Teaming up with Hawley will be Idaho river guide and filmmaker Jim Norton, showing his documentary “Running the Gauntlet,” recently featured on PBS. The film takes a look at the Columbia River Basin, once teeming with young salmon heading toward the ocean and mature salmon returning to their home rivers and streams to spawn.
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