Offshore orca were sighted eating opah (more commonly known as sunfish) for the first time on Wednesday 31st October in Californian waters. This is the first time this ecotype have been documented as eating this fish species!
Photo: ©Isaiah Foulks/Monterey Bay Whale Watch
For more information, please visit the Monterey Bay Whale Watch website:
and Facebook page:
The slaughter of pilot whales and other cetaceans are still taking place in the Faroe Islands. In the past orca were also targeted, as a film from 1978 shows.
Now, 34 years later, a Planet Whale survey team is undertaking a study of the distribution of whales and dolphins, focusing on orca. The results are encouraging. Many orca were spotted, thanks to the help of the local people.
Orca are no longer victims of whalers but are seen as great and respected animals. Perhaps this example of changing attitudes brings hope for the other cetaceans found in waters around these beautiful islands.
You can find a video of the slaughter in 1978 here:
WARNING: this video contains VERY SHOCKING images!
Several dozen orca heading south off Point No Point, an outcropping of land on the northeast point of the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington, USA.
Ten Years Later, Orca Springer is Thriving After Successful Rehabilitation and Release Back into the Wild
In 2002, a young female Northern resident orca named Springer was released back into the wild after a few months of rehabilitation in captivity. A fit and healthy Springer has been resighted regularly with her family since her release, having successfully reintegrated back into her pod.
"She's 12 now, she's a little bit young but it's not that unusual for a female orca. We're sitting around and year by year waiting for it to happen" says OrcaLab's Paul Spong.
About Springer: The calf was found orphaned in Seattle Harbour (USA), wasting away without her mother's milk, and hundreds of kilometres from home off northern Vancouver Island in Canada. Over the next few months, Springer was nursed back to health in Washington State. By the time she was released back home, people from two countries had come together to stand-in for her family, all the time working toward her release back into the wild.
You can watch 2012 news footage about Springer here:
"We need to put Morgan back in the ocean. We need to get off our ass and campaign as far as we can with as many people as we can to convince the Judges..." says Jean-Michel Cousteau
Lawyer and ocean advocate Matthew Spiegl spoke with Jean-Michel Cousteau (Ocean Futures Society) about Morgan at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival which took place during the last week of September.
Spiegl writes, "Jean-Michel also wanted to talk about an issue that is very personal to him and his Ocean Futures Society -- Morgan, an orca whale who was captured on June 23, 2010 and has been in captivity since.
When the discussion turned to this young female orca, there was a noticeable change in Jean-Michel's voice. Although always passionate, there is a profound sense of urgency when he speaks of Morgan. Having spent over four years fighting to free another orca named Keiko from captivity; Jean-Michel is frustrated that we are still having this discussion about captive marine animals performing "circus acts" for humans in 2012."
"We need to put Morgan back in the ocean. We need to get off our ass and campaign as far as we can with as many people as we can to convince the judges, the people who are making the decision in Amsterdam on the first of November, and I'm planning on being there and as many people who can join, to show the world, the legal world that there is a growing number of people, that we are able to have a voice,"says Cousteau.
Spiegl also spoke with Dr. Ingrid Visser (Orca Research Trust) who is on the Free Morgan Foundation expert board, who gave the him a "quick education on orcas and filled [him] in on the details about Morgan, explaining that she was not stranded and rescued - but that she was captured and taken".
To read the full article please visit:
Dolphins’ Astounding Ability to Heal – Why SeaWorld is Confident About the Injured Orca “Nakai” (Article by Candace Calloway Whiting)
Cetaceans have an astounding ability to heal that science is just beginning to understand.
"Every orca breath is a conscious act, so they never really sleep. They also seem to control their heartbeat, bloodflow and body temperature and possibly even conception. And they have impressive healing and regeneration powers. Maybe that's what 10 million years of evolutionary history can buy. The world will watch as Nakai heals," Orca Network
To read the full article, please visit:
An illustrated summary of the work going on around the world to learn about orca has now been published: Orca of the World by Orca Aware.
Meet orca populations found around the world, along with the researchers and projects who study them. With stunning photographs and expert-checked profiles, you do not want to miss this!
"This is an amazing project that will take people to a whole new level of appreciation of the species." Howard Garrett (Orca Network)
Watch this space for the Orca of the World PDF resource.
Visit Orca of the World here:
The Far East Russia Orca Project (FEROP) provide further update on the young (possibly transient) female captured from Russian waters back in August:
"Another photo of the young female orca being kept captive near Vladivostok. Rumours are that she is going back to Sochi Dolphinarium (Adler) OR helping to open up the huge new Vladivostok Dolphinarium on Russkiy Island OR maybe going outside of Russia. We hear that Marineland in Ontario wants another orca to replace the ones that died."
For more information, please visit FEROP's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/russianorca
A 'Free Narnia' Facebook page has also now been created:
The Ross Sea in Antarctica is the most pristine marine ecosystem on Earth. But the fishing industry has now found its way to there, targeting Antarctic toothfish. This fish species is not only the main prey of type C Antarctic orca, but is also a keystone species in this ecosystem (a species that has a disproportionately large effect on its environment relative to its abundance).
The toothfish fishery in the Ross Sea is having a catastrophic impact on all marine life found there, including orca. Unless it is stopped, the natural balance of this unique ecosystem will be lost forever.
The Last Ocean, based in New Zealand, was started in 2004 to promote the establishment of a marine protected area (MPA) in order to conserve the pristine qualities of the Ross Sea, Antarctica. You can find out more at http://www.lastocean.org/
And you can watch The Last Ocean trailer here:
Nakai is an 11 year-old captive orca imprisoned at SeaWorld California. Last week he was photographed with a horrific injury - a chunk of flesh the size of a dinner plate is missing from his lower jaw (you can see from the photo that this is no exaggeration). Nakai has been treated with antibiotics by SeaWorld veterinarians, but this poor animal is not in the clear - not only could his injury cause direct health implications, but it could lead to infection.
It is believed that Nakai sustained this wound on September 20th during a night show at the amusement park, but it is unclear as to how it happened.
Originally, experts were of the opinion that Nakai's injuries could not have resulted from an orca bite. The U-T San Diego reported:
Dr. Ingrid Visser, a leading orca researcher from New Zealand and anti-captivity activist, concurred with Anderson [veterinarian with the University of California Davis Wildlife Center] that the wound doesn’t appear to be a bite, more like a slice caused by something like a metal plate or a wire. She added that she believed that the injury is more serious than Sea World officials have stated.
“This is clearly a very traumatic wound and it appears to be down to the bone and again, I think that SeaWorld is underplaying the wound,” she wrote in an e-mail. “This is another example of why these animals shouldn’t be in captivity.”
However, new evidence has come to light which now suggests otherwise - that Nakai's injuries arelikely to have resulted from an orca bite.
New photographs of Nakai have been released by orca expert Ingrid Visser, which clearly show four puncture marks at the bottom right of the wound - the spacing matches that for orca teeth as you can see by comparing them to Nakai's teeth in the same photo.
"When I tried to photograph him over the top of the (very) high rails, I was told to not stand on the camera box and I had to stop taking photos there. Then the trainers deliberately moved Nakai to another tank where we couldn’t see him properly. I only managed to get 6 semi-decent photos of him."
As others have speculated, it is possible that SeaWorld staff members cauterized the wound with lasers to get rid of the rakes before anyone outside of the park saw the injury. But they left those four punctures since they would have had to take too much flesh to remove them.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced on Friday they have filed a complaint with the Department of Agriculture for conditions at SeaWorld San Diego that led to a gaping injury to the lower jaw of an 11-year-old killer whale.
For more information please read the following articles:
Journalist Tim Zimmermann first reported this news -
'Death at SeaWorld' author David Kirby also investigates the story -
CBS8 report on Nakai's injuries: http://www.cbs8.com/category/155799/video-landing-page?clipId=7780197&auto
The U-T San Diego interviews Dr. Ingrid Visser about Nakai's wounds -
CBS8 report on PETA's complaint filed with the US Department of Agriculture:
CBS8 reports on the recent photographs of Nakai's injuries taken by orca expert Ingrid Visser:
Ingrid Visser speaks with journalist Tim Zimmermann about her professional analysis of Nakai's injuries: http://timzimmermann.tumblr.com/post/32870571126/vissernakaianalysis