We are saddened to learn that two members of the Southern Resident orca population in the Pacific Northwest are unaccounted for this year and are presumed dead. Two members of L pod, Lulu and Indigo, have not been seen with their families this summer. The annual census of this population, which started in the mid-70’s, has been able to get a complete head count of Southern Residents every year due to their small population size and proximity to a heavily populated coastal area in the summer.
What now for Russian orcas?
Following the news that two orcas were captured in the Okhotsk Sea, Russia, we now have the announcement of the 2014 quota allowing potential captors to apply for permits to catch 10 more orcas. Actually, usually the quota and the permit process happen before the actual captures, but this is Russia.
This week's has been written by one of our residential guide and education volunteers Laura. Find out what she has been seeing around a stormy Spey Bay.
Well these past couple of weeks have seen a lot of change here around Spey Bay! The landscape has had a complete makeover as we felt the side effects of Hurricane Bertha; our sunny skies were suddenly replaced with torrential downpours and the River Spey made a bid for freedom, bursting its banks and even flooding our Icehouse!
There are multiple government agencies that are responsible for overseeing the care and well-being of Lolita, the only surviving member of the Southern Resident orcas that is still trapped in captivity. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is responsible for making sure the Miami Seaquarium’s tanks comply with regulations (they don’t).
First we saw the white movement, gracefully weaving under the water. The unmistakeable turquoise water above a pod of mature Risso’s dolphins who were swimming just below the surface, at some distance from our boat, off Pico in the Azores. This made me feel at home, we see the same behaviour in our own study area in the Minch off the Isle of Lewis in western Scotland.
I had a really nice (and unexpected) Photo ID trip with my friends from Aberdeen University recently and although the weather wasn't brilliant it was still good enough to get some nice pictures. We came across twenty or so dolphins including no less than FIVE of this years babies scooting about with their Mums including ID#1028 "Lilith" and her gorgeous wee bundle.
We are, at long last getting some badly needed rain up here which will hopefully let more salmon migrate up the river systems. There are just enough sea trout and salmon in the area to keep our dolphins going food wise, but the numbers are only enough to keep small groups of dolphins interested.