Ken Balcomb has been researching our local orca populations since 1976 and, as he says, he’s been “hooked ever since.” Back when he started, they numbered 70. Now, he says, there are 83 or 84. A promising increase but Ken is nevertheless concerned.
“Their population has been going up and down, mostly tracking with salmon populations,” he notes. “If we have poor years for salmon, we have very poor survival with the whales. I’m concerned about this year.” There are other threats to the health of our local orcas as well, including contaminants in the water and vessel interaction.
Balcomb, Executive Director of the Center for Whale Research and Principal Investigator for Orca Survey, will be back by popular demand for the third and final event in our Sound Conversations series on Thursday, May 2 at 7:30pm. Watch the video clip below, then join us to learn about the nature of the problems faced by the orcas, what we’ve learned about their behavior and what it means in terms of the health of our marine environment—and what each of us can do to help care for the whales. Tickets are $10 per person; click here for more details and to register.