Whale Pods Breaching Seattle Alaska Cruises Strait of Georgia

Whale Pods Breaching Seattle Alaska Cruises Strait of Georgia
Whale Pods Breaching Seattle Alaska Cruises Strait of Georgia
Strait of Georgia Vancouver British Columbia Canada
Strait of Georgia Vancouver British Columbia Canada

Whale Pods Breaching Seattle Alaska Cruises Strait of Georgia – On Thursday, June 27, 2019, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (see video below) reported one or more groups of whale pods, thought to be Southern Resident killer whales, were seen breaching in the  Strait of Georgia, in British Columbia, Canada.

At this time, we have numerous cruise ships sailing Alaska itineraries, with three in port today at Seattle. In port are Holland America Line ship Eurodam and Princess Cruises ship Ruby Princess at Pier 91 with Norwegian Joy at Pier 66.

Other cruise ships on Alaskan itineraries this weekend which may encounter Southern Resident killer whales include National Geographic Sea Lion, Oosterdam, Amsterdam, Westerdam, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Bliss, Ovation of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, Celebrity Solstice, Star Princess, Disney Wonder and Crystal Symphony.

The Southern Resident killer whales (also called orcas/Orcinus orca) are a large extended family, or clan, comprised of three pods: J, K, and L pods. Within each pod, families form into sub-pods centered around older females, usually grandmothers or great-grandmothers. Both male and female offspring remain in close association with their mothers for life.

From spring through fall, the Southern Resident killer whales are most often seen in the protected inshore waters of the Salish Sea. The Salish Sea includes the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Strait of Georgia, and Puget Sound, and all their connecting channels and adjoining waters, and the waters around and between the San Juan Islands in Washington State and the Gulf Islands in British Columbia.

The southern resident killer whales (SRKW) represent the smallest of four resident communities within the Northeastern portion of North America Pacific Ocean. It is the only killer whale population listed under the Endangered Species Act by the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic, and Atmospheric Administration.

The National Marine Fisheries Service listed this distinct population segment of killer whales as endangered, effective in 2005, under the Endangered Species Act.

In Canada, the SRKW are listed as endangered on Species at Risk Act Schedule 1. They are commonly referred to as the “orcas of the Salish Sea”, “fish-eating orcas”, or the “SRKW” population. Unlike other resident whale communities, the SRKW is only one clan (J) that consists of 3 pods (J, K, L) with several matrilines within each pod.

As of September 2018, there are only 75 individuals making their population at a 30 year low. The world’s oldest known killer whale, Granny or J2, had belonged to and led the J pod of the SRKW population. As of October 2016, she is missing and presumed deceased. J2 was estimated to have been born around 1911, which means she would have been 105 years old at the time of her death, and the oldest known Orca to date.

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Video: Killer Whale Celebration | Alaska | Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic