In casual conversation, people have mentioned to me that they have been told "oh, the Southern Residents are just out in the open ocean getting lots to eat." While true that they are out in the open ocean and we assume they are getting lots to eat, it's also 'spin'.
They Aren't Here Because There is A Problem!!!!
This is J, K, and L pods' summer residence for longer than anyone even knows. This year they have come here and there has been nothing for them. And that is being dismissed.
I love sharing about the whales on my blog, but I can't pretend that everything is just fine. It's not.
Salmon are big business, and
Chinook salmon are big business for the whales. It's their livelihood. The Fraser River Panel and others focus on the pinks, sockeye and others but there is no focus on the Chinook. I have observed that when the sockeye return is good the numbers for the Chinook increase too, and the whales are here. I have asked some fish people about a correlation between returning sockeye and returning Chinook salmon and have been told there isn't one. So if there is no relationship between those two salmon, why then were the whales here all season long in 2010 when there was an historic sockeye salmon return (34,000,000)? Oh, and they keep saying that the whales don't eat sockeye, or very little of it.
Did you know that it's not just the whales that depend on the salmon?
Areas that were closed to salmon fishing have had middle of the night salmon poachers on the Fraser River...
WDFW - Washington (State) Dept. of Fish and Wildlife - updates on fishing rules
I find that very interesting, but I still don't understand why people are still allowed to catch Chinook salmon?
One of the species that need salmon are harbor seals.
And Transient killer whales eat harbor seals. A friend sent me a picture of a lunging killer whale with a harbor seal in it's mouth and the whale's teeth were showing. I think he clicked in mid-munch!
....there have been lots of Transient killer whales in the area...at least for them their is plenty of their food source around...at least for now...
...out on Maya's Westside Charters over the last couple days we have encountered the T30s on more than one occasion...one day in the Strait of Juan de Fuca the next in the Strait of Georgia...and then late yesterday, in some pretty wild seas, we saw the T137s and the T185s...
...it's been a week now since the Southern Residents gave the humans another chance, but we failed to have any salmon in here for them...what now?