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#StopKinderMorgan – Standing Up for Our Precious Coast – #welovethiscoast #OrcasNotTankers


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Opinion: Rachel Notley not winning hearts or minds in B.C.

“Mark my words, that pipeline will be built,” vows Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

A female resident orca whale breaches while swimming in Puget Sound near Bainbridge Island as seen from a federally permitted research vessel Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. The federal government has released a recovery plan for an endangered population of killer whales likely to be in the path of increased oil tanker traffic off British Columbia's southern coast. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Elaine Thompson ORG XMIT: CPT109

Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 file photo
Elaine Thompson, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley clearly does not understand that many British Columbians consider the Salish Sea and its Southern Resident killer whales as priceless and irreplaceable; a worth immeasurable in monetary terms. ELAINE THOMPSON / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Vancouver Sun by Chris Genovali | July 23, 2017

“Mark my words, that pipeline will be built,” vows Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

With multiple lawsuits before the courts, including one by the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, and an anti-Trans Mountain provincial government taking power in British Columbia, Notley’s audacious guarantee seems intemperate at best. However, if Notley’s intention was to harden opposition in B.C. to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion, she certainly accomplished that.

Notley’s inflammatory “mark my words” throw down, coupled with her hectoring and lecturing that Kinder Morgan’s oilsands pipeline and supertanker mega-project is in the best interests of British Columbians, will never win hearts or minds in B.C.

What Notley clearly does not understand is that many British Columbians consider the Salish Sea and its Southern Resident killer whales as priceless and irreplaceable; a worth immeasurable in monetary terms.

With a dangerously small population hovering around 80 individuals, the Southern Resident killer whales are labouring under an existing suite of stressors, including a lack of food (i.e. Chinook salmon), chronic and acute vessel disturbance, and a high contaminant load.

The Trans Mountain pipeline will deliver 890,000 barrels of diluted bitumen to Vancouver per day, all destined for offshore markets. Tanker traffic in the Salish Sea will increase by an estimated 700 per cent with more than 800 annual oil tanker trips to and from Burrard Inlet.

Raincoast biologists Adrianne Jarvela Rosenberger, Misty MacDuffee and Andrew Rosenberger, along with Ocean Wise research scientist Peter Ross, have just published a peer-reviewed paper in the scientific journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology examining how marine mammals are inherently vulnerable to oil spills. The authors developed a conceptual framework to evaluate the impacts of potential oil exposure on marine mammals and applied it to 21 species inhabiting coastal B.C. Oil spill vulnerability was determined by first examining the likelihood of each species being exposed to spilled oil, and then the consequent likelihood of population-level effects. Oil exposure pathways, ecology, and physiological characteristics were used to assign vulnerability rankings to each species.

The paper, Oil Spills and Marine Mammals in British Columbia, Canada: Development and Application of a Risk-Based Conceptual Framework, found that killer whale populations were deemed at highest risk due to small population sizes, complex social structure, long lives, slow reproductive turnover, and dietary specialization. The paper’s findings challenge the typical “indicator species” approach routinely used; it underscores the need to examine marine mammals at a species and population level for risk-based oil spill predictions.

Noise is another significant and increasing threat to the whales and their critical habitat. A recent publication by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Southern Resident killer whales: A science based review of recovery actions, states that underwater noise can interfere with the ability of Southern Residents to conduct their life functions. Such disruptions include decreased foraging success, displacement from their feeding habitats, displacement of their prey, and impaired hearing — either temporarily or permanently.

Kinder Morgan’s shipping route transects critical habitat that the federal government has identified as essential for the survival and recovery of these endangered killer whales. As interveners in the National Energy Board (NEB) review of Trans Mountain, Raincoast submitted extensive scientific evidence, including a population viability analysis for the Southern Residents, which was not contested by Kinder Morgan or by the federal government.

Raincoast’s evidence showed that even without oil spills, the additional noise from the increase in tanker traffic significantly escalates the risk of extinction to the already imperilled Southern Residents. As we pointed out to the NEB, acoustic disturbance due to vessel noise will make it more difficult for killer whales to communicate, navigate, mate, hunt and feed.

A key component of our written evidence to the NEB is a report by Cornell University’s world-renowned bioacoustician and marine mammal expert Dr. Christopher Clark, which focuses on acoustic impacts of the oil tanker traffic associated with the Trans Mountain project on Southern Resident killer whales. The report explains the importance of sound to killer whales’ critical life functions and how elevated noise from vessel traffic, including Trans Mountain, can hinder these.

Contrary to the claims by Notley and other pipeline proponents, the approval of the Trans Mountain expansion was not based on scientific facts or evidence. Rather, the official sanction of Trans Mountain was a political calculation, one that happens to hold grave consequences for the Salish Sea and its most iconic species.

Chris Genovali is executive director of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

See article here…….

 

 


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What Antarctic killer whales can teach humans about climate change

The giant mammals are extremely vulnerable to changes in the ecosystem, making their health a good barometer for the state of the environment.

The Atlantic by Mona Gable / Apr 10, 2017

They stood on the top bridge of the cruise ship National Geographic Explorer, peering through binoculars at the vast icy Weddell Sea. It was a summer afternoon in February in Antarctica, the air a balmy 32-or-so degrees Fahrenheit, and John Durban and Holly Fearnbach, biologists with the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, had spotted killer whales in the distance.

The only question was, were these the Type B2’s, with their gorgeous gray-and-white coloring and their culinary fondness for Gentoo penguins—one of only three kinds of killer whales found in the Antarctic Peninsula? Or another type of killer whale unique to these cold deep waters? From miles away it was hard to tell. The rest of us spectators on the ship, far from our native habitats of Texas, England, and Kenya, gazed out at the ice floes and the foggy horizon splashed with blue, wondering too.

The scientists were on board thanks to a grant from the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund. The fund aspires to protect the ocean’s last pristine areas through research, conservation, education, and community-development projects in the company’s far-flung destinations.

For Durban and Fearnbach, who are based in sunny La Jolla, California, the fund has buoyed their research in Antarctica. While they also study orca and humpback whale populations in the Pacific Northwest, the North Atlantic and Alaska, on these trips they’ve been able to observe killer whales in perhaps the most inaccessible place on the planet. Since 2011, the scientists have made several voyages a year to the frozen continent on the Explorer, using the ice-cutting, refurbished Norwegian ferry to follow the whales.

On the trip in early February, the scientists were joined by 148 passengers and a flock of naturalists. For those paying hefty sums to see Antarctica, the 10-day voyage was like a floating science classroom. In the lounge, naturalists lectured on such pertinent topics as “Know Your Penguins,” “What Does Ice Tell Us About Climate Change?” and a Belgian expedition’s epic discovery of the Gerlache Strait.

Durban and Fearnbach gave several talks about their work in Antarctica, and how the health of killer whales is a barometer of the continent’s rapidly changing environment. Their research has been especially revelatory. Until as little as 20 years ago, scientists used to believe that Antarctic killer whales were all alike. But Durban, his colleague Bob Pitman and others took small skin samples of whales, analyzed their DNA, and ended up discovering that there are five distinct types, each with its own prey preferences, hunting techniques, and habitats. Durban and his colleagues are proposing that they may be separate species. This means that each type of killer whale will adapt to climate change in different ways—some likely better than others—largely depending on their food supply.

The enormous Type A’s, which are a striking black and white, feed on minke whales and perhaps elephant seals. The B2’s, which are the smallest and most plentiful, typically frequent the Gerlache Strait, munching on gentoo and chinstrap penguins and probably fish. The B1s, which are a dazzling gray and white, dine on seals. When they hunt, the clever whales band together and literally make waves to wash seals off ice floes. “They are my favorite animals,” said Durban during their talk.

Four juvenile, Type B2 killer whales in close pursuit of a Gentoo penguin
(John Durban / NOAA / Holly Fearnbach / SR3)

It’s not exactly easy to spot killer whales in the Antarctic seas, where the horizon can be an endless expanse of whites and grays and mesmerizing teal-blue ice sculptures. The creatures are mostly underwater, and race through the seas at a brisk 55 miles per hour. When Durban and Fearnbach do spy them, or get a tip from the sharp-eyed crew on the bridge that whales are in sight, the scientists chase after them in a Zodiac—a small, black rubber motorboat—taking photographs and collecting data. The photos help them identify individual whales and keep close track of their health from year to year. They can also pinpoint where in the vast Antarctic waters the whales are most likely to be, and how stable the various populations are. Although they already know a lot, they want to learn more about what the insatiable animals eat. That will tell them if the warming environment is threatening their food sources.

There’s abundant enthusiasm for their research on the ship. Passengers and naturalists have contributed thousands of photographs of killer whales to the scientists. Counting their own photographs snapped from the Zodiac and from the Explorer’s decks and bow, they’ve amassed nearly 80,000 images of the little-observed animals.

In the past six years, they’ve gained tremendous insights into the enigmatic cetaceans. Using tiny satellite tags affixed to whales that relay their movements, Durban and Fearnbach were the first to document Antarctic whales making a speedy, 5,000-mile trip to the warmer waters of the subtropics and back, apparently to shed their algae-encrusted skin. They recorded the deepest dives—more than 2,000 feet—of any killer whales in the world. They’ve seen feeding behaviors few scientists have: a killer whale dangling an elephant seal in its mouth, another type of killer whale pursuing pretty Adélie penguins.

In early February, the researchers had already been out for two weeks traversing the Southern Ocean and Weddell Sea, where Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance famously got trapped in ice in 1915, trying to fathom more about the role of killer whales in the continent’s rapidly warming environment.  With news of the ever-widening crack in the nearby Larsen C ice shelf, their quest seemed especially relevant.

Larsen C, a mass of ice the size of Vermont and New Hampshire, is melting because of warming from climate change. Because killer whales need sea ice to survive, this means their habitat is changing in profound ways. Durban and Fearnbach were eager to answer some vital questions. How healthy were the Antarctic whales? What were they feeding on? How much prey were they eating? Were the researchers seeing animals they’d photographed in previous years? Or had some whales vanished, perhaps died?

These questions matter because killer whales are easily affected by changes in their environment, and heavily shape it, too. Killer whales live as long as humans do, but produce very few calves; each one’s survival is critical. As the continent’s top predator, they’re especially vulnerable to changes in the food chain, like contaminants, or overfishing of krill, a pink, shrimp-like crustacean that humpback whales and other species devour. “In order for them to be healthy, the ecosystem needs to be healthy,” said Durban.

They also eat a ton, so they exert a huge influence on Antarctica’s spectacular array of marine life, including Weddell seals, minke whales, and several species of penguins. As the climate changes, the researchers are trying to understand how killer whales are affecting prey populations.

That afternoon when they spied the roaming whales, they dashed inside and approached Captain Oliver Kruess. Did they have time to go out in a Zodiac and take photographs? The ship was on a strict schedule, set to be at Mikkelson Harbor, which was hours away on the east side of the Peninsula, by morning. There was some negotiating among the scientists, the captain, and the ship’s expedition leader, Lucho Verdesoto Yumiseba, who was in charge of the daily itinerary. The researchers were told they had 45 minutes. Kruess, who saw the whales go, gave them some handy navigation advice. “It was a great example of the support we get on the ship,” said Durban. “We almost didn’t have time.”

They scrambled into a Zodiac with their colleague, Leigh Hickmott, and shot out from the starboard side toward the whales. A gaggle of passengers in orange hooded parkas lined the decks and bow in the freezing air, taking photos. Soon after they launched, they made a thrilling discovery. The seven whales were not B2’s, but the even more elusive Type B1’s. During two expeditions in the previous weeks, they had not seen them once. “They are probably the hardest killer whales to find in the world,” said Durban. “They live in the pack ice, so it’s hard to go where they live. They can do 150 miles a day.”

The hexacopter allows researchers to collect aerial images of the animals.
(Courtesy of Leigh Hickmott)

While the Zodiac idled, they launched an unmanned hexacopter into the sky.  The high-tech drone, which is outfitted with a tiny camera, resembled a toy. Fearnbach, her head under a “lucky” towel that’s been with them all over the world, looked at a computer monitor, guiding Durban as he flew the hexacopter 100 feet above the whales, taking pictures. The drone carries an altimeter to record height, so they can scale photographs with startling precision to measure the whales. “We can tell a change in their fatness down to the level of a centimeter,” Durban said. “For a large whale that might weigh dozens of tons, that’s amazing resolution.”

In 2014, they were the first to use an unmanned drone in photogrammetry—the art of measuring animals from aerial images—on any kind of whale. Researchers have long used photographs to identify whales using natural markings; scars on their dorsal fins, the colors of their saddle patches. But the drone has considerably upped their game, enabling them to track individuals’ body condition and growth over time, and get better population estimates.

With a grant from the LEX-NG Fund, they first flew the hexacopter in Antarctica in early 2016. Over their three voyages, they’ve taken more than 4,600 aerial images.

“We used to do this kind of work but from a helicopter or a fixed-wing aircraft,” said Durban. “We’d be several hundreds of feet up so the pictures weren’t as good. It has increased the quality of what we do.”

The hexacopter, which is about as light as a toaster and adaptable enough to fly in remote areas, also allows them to collect more data without disturbing the whales. The highly social animals don’t seem to notice it’s there.

From that fresh perspective, they’ve seen some startling behaviors in Antarctic waters. Grandmothers giving food to their grandchildren. Sick whales unable to dive, lingering at the surface. Whales swimming close enough to touch.

On their first day out the week before, they were floating in the Weddell Sea when they spied something they’d never seen. A group of 25 killer whales—Type B2’s—were rubbing their bellies on icebergs to clean their skin. Because of the freezing waters, Type B whales develop diatoms, a kind of algae that turns their skin yellow. “It was remarkable,” said Fearnbach.

One night, as passengers chatted and sipped cocktails in the lounge, Durban and Fearnbach did a slide presentation. The two met studying killer whales in Alaska in 2005, when she joined his research team. They’re both now 40 and married. He’s tall and barrel-chested with a short reddish beard, while she’s petite with long light-brown hair. As they spoke, the $20,000 hexacopter—nicknamed “Chimo” for a white killer whale captured in 1960s—sat propped prominently on a table. “I can guarantee you haven’t seen killer whales like you saw today,” said Durban, showing an aerial photo of the mercurial B1s.

Remarkably, little is known about Antarctic killer whales, although they are more plentiful here than anywhere in the world. Over many cruises in the early 1980s, Japanese ship surveys estimated the population at 25,000. But that’s hardly precise. Their research vessels, with good reason, failed to count whales in the treacherous pack ice. Durban and Fearnbach hope to improve the accuracy of the count, by getting abundance estimates in smaller areas in the Antarctic Peninsula.

Each hexacopter flight brings new information. Killer whales usually travel in pods of 50, and remain with their family groups their entire lives. By tracking them over time, the scientists hope to discover how climate change is affecting their health. How adaptable is each species to the shifting ice conditions? Some females they’d seen one afternoon were skinny and sick, a worrisome sign. In the lounge, Durban showed a photo of a B1 female and her calf. “One of the shocking things for us—this whale is very very thin,” he said of the mother. “It’s skin and bones. It doesn’t have much blubber.”

The hexacopter hovering above a humpback whale in Antarctica
(Courtesy of Leigh Hickmott)

Later, Durban said, “Normally that type of whale is very fat. Immediately when we got in the boat, they were behaving like they were looking for food. They weren’t as energetic as normal. That one female was in terrible shape and couldn’t dive with the rest of the group.”

Females care for and feed males and their offspring first, so mothers are typically the last to eat. It’s possible the one female was ill, and couldn’t travel to find more food. Or it could signal a problem in the food supply. On previous trips in Antarctica that season, they’d seen other females in poor condition. “To me the bottom line is we’ve got to do more of this,” said Durban. “We’ve got to look at how widespread that is in the bigger population. Not just one group. We can’t take it for granted they’re healthy. We know we’ve got an ecosystem that has significant changes.”

With science funding threatened—including programs to mitigate climate change—Durban isn’t sure how their research will fare. The White House wants to slash 17 percent from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s budget, the agency for which he works. “We’re not in a great position,” he said.

In past few years they’ve had to get creative. “We’ve become very good at collaborating, seeking diverse funding sources. That’s a model we’re going to have to continue.”

As far as the world’s largest predator goes, they have a ton of questions. It’s still unclear what the primary prey species is for Type B2 killer whales. Their previous research has shown the animals frequently dive as deep as 700 meters, deeper even than gifted swimmers like penguins. But what are they eating down there? If the Antarctic Peninsula continues to warm and the ice continues to melt, how will killer whales survive these changes? Already, one of their food sources—Adélie penguins—has declined in several areas around the peninsula. At Palmer Station, one of three U.S. scientific bases in Antarctica, the Adélie population has been decimated.

On the last day of the expedition, the scientists headed out in the glittering waters and ice towers just outside Paradise Bay, and disappeared. Hours later, they appeared in the gray early evening off the bow near a pod of Type B2’s. A sea of dark fins knifed through the black water, eliciting gasps, as passengers on the bridge counted them aloud. Later, securely back onboard, Durban and Fearnbach announced the final tally. There were 40 in the pod, a reassuringly healthy number.


Editor’s Note: The images included in this story were collected during research conducted under NMFS Permit No. 19091 and Antarctic Conservation Act Permit ACA 2017-029.

See article here…….

 

 

 


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Centre for Whale Research Friday Harbour, Washington

The Center for Whale Research is dedicated to the study and conservation of the Southern Resident killer whale (Orca) population in the Pacific Northwest.

42 years of WHALE RESEARCH

orcas-gal-6

For over four decades, the Center for Whale Research has been conducting annual photo-ID (photo-identification) studies of Southern Resident killer whales – one of the most magnificent and beloved animal populations in the world. Our long-term research has generated unprecedented baseline information on the whales’ population dynamics, health, demography, social structure, and individual life histories. Thanks to the Center’s research, more detail is known about the endangered Southern Resident killer whales than any other group of marine mammals in the world.  As a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization, our mission is to facilitate the recovery of this beloved population of Orcas through non-invasive scientific study, public awareness and education, and conservation action.

Please help this committed group of orca lovers!

Please visit the site here …………


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Oil tankers threaten endangered orcas, two tribes say in lawsuit against U.S. Coast Guard

Already-endangered killer whales in the waters west of Seattle face heightened risk from an increased traffic of tankers that will carry oil from Kinder Morgan’s $5.4 billion Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, two Native American organizations claim in a federal lawsuit.

 

Mark Malleson/The Center for Whale Research via AP An orca whale pokes her head upward while swimming in the Salish Sea near the San Juan Islands, Wash.

 Andrew Harris, Bloomberg News | April 27, 2017 – National Post.com

The U.S. Coast Guard failed to ensure the black-and-white whales known as orcas won’t be decimated by increased shipping traffic or oil spills as it’s required to do under the Endangered Species Act, according to the tribes’ complaint filed Tuesday in Seattle.

“Exporting oil will trigger a seven-fold increase in the number of oil tankers transiting the waters of the Salish Sea,” the tribes said. That sea is comprised of the waterways surrounding the Vancouver Island archipelago, including the Strait of San Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound. “These approximately 400 tankers will carry approximately 300,000,000 barrels (over 12.5 billion gallons) of oil through these waters every year.”

 

An orca whale breaches in view of Mount Baker in the Salish Sea in the San Juan Islands, Wash.  Photo credit: Elaine Thompson/AP

The tribes are seeking a court order compelling the Coast Guard to meet its obligations under the act to implement “traffic separation schemes” that will minimize jeopardy to the whales and to their habitat within a set time frame.

Filing the suit are Tulalip Tribes and the Suquamish Tribe — once led by Chief Seattle — for whom orcas are “interwoven” into harvesting, cultural and spiritual practices, according to the complaint.

Kinder Morgan isn’t a defendant in the lawsuit, which targets the U.S. Coast Guard. Richard Wheatley, a company spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. Justice Department spokesman, Wyn Hornbuckle, said the suit is being reviewed and declined to comment further.

The project won regulatory approval in British Columbia in January — after getting the go-ahead from Canada’s federal government. Kinder seeks to begin work on the expansion, which will more than double the existing line’s capacity and extend its reach, later this year.

Native American tribes and organizations are also pursuing federal lawsuits challenging TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline path in Montana and the Energy Transfer Partners-led Dakota Access pipeline project in North Dakota.

See article here……….


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Tributes are flowing for the worlds oldest killer whale granny

Tributes are flowing for the world’s oldest known killer whale, known as Granny, who was presumed dead by scientists as 2017 ticked over.
granny

Pickle.nine by Dannielle Maguire   January 4, 2017

Thought to have been born in 1911 – a year before the Titanic sank – Granny has not been seen with her pod since October.

Known as a devoted grandmother by researchers, this absence has led them to believe she has since passed away.

                                                                         She is pictured here with her son, Ruffles, in 2010.

Granny, who was known to biologists as J2, was the star of a BBC documentary about whales and menopause, teaching scientists a thing or two about the power of supportive familes in ensuring survival.

Killer whales are among only three species of mammals which experience menopause, with the others being short-finned pilot whales and humans.

Hailing from the North Pacific Ocean close to Canada, Granny was a popular personality of the water.

“She leaps clear out of the ocean to delighted gasps from everyone on my boat,” BBC journalist Victoria Gill wrote in August.

But sadly, this may have been among one of the old girl’s last appearances.

As news broke of her death, fans of the sea-dwelling centenarian took to Twitter to say their goodbyes.


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2016 Has been the deadliest year for orca whales

Orca enthusiasts gathered on the shores of Seattle’s Akli Beach Tuesday evening to hold a candlelight vigil for those lost over the past year.

By Dyer Oxley, MyNorthwest.com Writer   | December 28, 2016

orcas-my-northwest-2016-deadliest-year

2016 has been the deadliest year for orcas in the Northwest in nearly two decades. (Capt. Michael Colahan – Island Adventures and Pangea Pictures)

That’s because 2016 has been the deadliest year for Southern Resident killer whales in two decades.

Related: Food scarcity could threaten NW orcas

Three Seattle vigils were held Tuesday to pay tribute to those lost and also to send a message to protect the surviving orca.

“This population of animals cannot afford to lose any more of their breeding females if we hope to see them in future years,” said vigil organizer Rachel Carbary.

“We could not save J34, J28, J54, L95, J14, or J55,” she said listing off the titles of the whales who died over the past year. “Let’s work together to save the rest.”

Southern resident orca

According to KIRO 7, not all of the six whales that passed away in 2016 have been found. Those who have been recovered died from various causes, including disease, blunt force trauma and starvation. The most recent death occurred last week. An orca washed up on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia.

There are only 79 Southern Resident orca left in the region. KIRO 7 reports that their diet consists of primarily Chinook salmon – a population that has decreased by half since the 1980s.

Orca advocates are urging state lawmakers to take steps to protect salmon and killer-whale populations, including removing dams on the lower Snake River where many fish spawn.

See article here…….


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Initial Necropsy Results: Southern Resident Killer Whale J34

Initial examination indicates that the animal appears to have blunt trauma to the dorsal side, and a hematoma indicating that J34 was alive at the time of injury.

west-coast-map

An approximately 18 year old male killer whale, identified as J34 was found dead near Sechelt, B.C. on December 20th, 2016. J34 was a Southern Resident killer whale, a population listed as endangered under the Species at Risk Act in Canada. A necropsy was performed to determine the cause of the animal’s death.

Initial examination indicates that the animal appears to have blunt trauma to the dorsal side, and a hematoma indicating that J34 was alive at the time of injury. A CAT scan will be conducted on the skull to determine if there are any fractures. Additional information from tissue and blood analysis can take 2-8 weeks. DFO is investigating what may have caused the blunt trauma to the animal. Anyone with information please call our Observe Record Report line at 1-800-465-4336.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada would like to acknowledge the Sechelt First Nation, whose efforts and collaboration were central to locating the animal and facilitating a successful necropsy. We would also like to thank the BC Ministry of Agriculture (and in particular, Dr. Stephen Raverty, Veterinary Pathologist who performed the necropsy exam), Vancouver Aquarium staff, as well as numerous dedicated DFO staff and biologists.

The results of J34’s necropsy will feed into a growing body of knowledge to assist in assessing the threats to Southern Resident killer whales from a population health perspective. This data allows us to look at trends, pathogens, or other indicators that may affect their survival.

This page will be updated as new information comes in.

See official site here….

The following are news articles.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/orca-death-b-c-1.3909858

http://www.whaleresearch.com/j34