Photo ItkasanImages/Victoria Buzz

On Sunday, June 05, Victoria Buzz took part in the annual Whale Researcher Tour with Eagle Wing Whale Watching Tours as part of World Oceans Day celebrations at Fisherman’s Wharf. Look at what we saw!

DSC_8870-Edit50% of proceeds from the tour went directly to the invaluable Center for Whale Research.

DSC_9056-EditThe Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) are frequently seen, from spring to fall, in the protected waters of the Salish Sea.

DSC_8736-EditThey are actually a large extended family, or clan, comprised of three pods: J, K, and L pods.

DSC_9066-EditOn Sunday, we got lucky, as J-Pod and L-Pod were both present!

DSC_8879-EditThere were also humpbacks:

DSC_9197-EditCalifornia and Steller sea lions, elephant and harbour seals:

DSC_9132-EditAll with perfect weather, calm water and the hottest day of the year!

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Some interesting facts about Killer Whales:

  • Pods are centered around older females, often grandmothers or great-grandmothers.
  • The oldest of J-pod, is also known as “Granny” is estimated to be about 103 years old – older than the Titanic!
  • As of December 31, 2015, the SRKW population totaled 84: J Pod=29, K Pod=19, L Pod=36.
  • SRKW use unique calls to communicate with each other and these calls can travel 10 miles or more under water.

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  • SRKW eat mostly salmon, preferring Chinook salmon.
  • The Transients, are another community of orcas, located from Mexico up to the Bering Sea. They often appear in the Salish Sea and around Vancouver Island. Transients eat marine mammals, such as seals, and sea lions.
  • Orcas face many threats, including toxins such as PCBs that are absorbed through the mammal’s blubber.
  • To survive, killer whales need: nutritious food, such as lots of salmon for SRKW, pollution-free water, and plenty of space. For more ideas on how you can help keep the environment safe for these beautiful creatures, visit here.

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All photography by ItkasanImages

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