Whales

Southern Resident killer whale monitoring on San Juan Island

October 13, 2018

This summer, from mid-July to the end of September, we studied southern resident killer whale behavior under varying levels of boat and ship traffic. (This is an extension of our 2017 field season with OrcaSound). The Port of Vancouver has asked ships to slow down to less than 11 knots as they transit Haro Strait. Reducing […]

Please help us keep orca habitats clean, quiet, and full of fish

September 20, 2018

    The critically endangered southern resident killer whale population now numbers 74 individuals. The ability of the population to recover is hindered by a perfect storm of threats—not enough salmon, too much noise, and toxic chemicals affecting calf survival—but lack of access to salmon is at the eye of that storm. We need to […]

Teamwork

June 05, 2017

  One of the things we admire most about orca or killer whale cultures is their commitment to teamwork. They work together to find food, coordinate travel, and thrive in a cold, dark environment where prey are easier to find using sound than light. These whales serve as a great template for people working together to […]

Which raindrop caused the flood?

April 30, 2016

A lot of the research our charity, Oceans Initiative, conducts is to see how human activities — all of them — affect marine wildlife, both in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. The iconic orca we study illustrate this problem well. According to the latest census by Center for Whale Research, the population is hovering at 84 individuals. […]

Quiet(er) Marine Protected Areas

September 25, 2015

    Sound is as important to marine mammals as vision is to us.  Our new research, published open access in Marine Pollution Bulletin, has mapped areas that are important to 10 marine mammal species in BC, and overlaid those maps with maps of chronic ocean noise from shipping.  Most studies of this kind focus on […]

Co-founder wins prestigious Pew Fellowship to protect whales

February 24, 2015

We’ve been making a lot of noise about ocean noise for years.  Today, the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Marine Fellows Program announced that they’re listening.  Our co-founder, Dr Rob Williams, won a 3-year Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation. He will use the award to expand his studies of impacts of ocean noise on whale, fish, and the interactions […]

Saving the whales by saving their habitat

November 09, 2014

It’s not rocket science. Much of the work we do involves conserving whale & dolphin populations by identifying the habitats most critical to their survival, and keeping the habitat quiet, and full of fish. We’ve published extensively on the value of Marine Protected Areas to survival of endangered killer whale populations.  This week, we’re thrilled to […]

Saving Southern Resident Killer Whales: Time for Action

June 27, 2014

  Our colleagues at Northwest Fisheries Science Center recently released an impressive summary of their work on critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales over the last 10 years.  We applaud the quantity and quality of research on the population, and think more agencies should do this kind of outreach to summarize technical work on complicated […]

COUNTING WHALES IN A CHALLENGING, CHANGING HABITAT

March 31, 2014

  Few marine conservation issues are more contentious than Japan’s “scientific whaling” program, which allows for the killing of up to 935 whales each year. This number is large, relative to hunts of other whales in other parts of the world, but small relative to the hundreds of thousands of Antarctic minke whales in the […]

WHERE THE WHALES (AND WHALE RESEARCHERS) ARE

September 12, 2012

  Rob and his colleagues published a neat new paper today in the open access journal, PLOS ONE.  The paper, led by Dr Kristin Kaschner at the University of Freiburg, examined >1100 estimates of the abundance of whales, dolphins and porpoises reported in more than 400 surveys conducted worldwide between 1975 and 2005. It is […]