Listening For Orcas at http://listen.orcasound.net/ is a new website designed to educate students and adults about orca vocalizations and communication. Collaboration between NOAA, Killer Whale Tales, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, the Salish Sea Hydrophone Network and the Whale Museum resulted in the development of this free online education and citizen science reporting tool.
Back to School with Killer Whale Tales: As students head back to school this fall, many will have an opportunity to learn about our endangered Southern Resident killer whales. Their important homework assignment involves a stewardship challenge-making a difference for the whales by reducing their environmental footprint at home and at school. Registration is open for the 2012-2013 school year. To learn how to bring this interactive program to a school near you, please visit killerwhaletales.org/.
L112: The stranding investigation team continues its work on a final report about the stranding of L112, known as Sooke, the Southern Resident calf that washed ashore near Long Beach, Wash., in February 2012. The Whale Museum has been carefully cleaning L112's bones and developing an educational exhibit that will tell the story of Sooke and her family. The skeleton will be articulated and mounted on a pulley system in the museum, so it can be lowered for a unique eye-to-eye view. To learn more about the exhibit, please visit www.whalemuseum.org/
Seismic Survey Complete: On July 23, 2012, the R/V Langseth, with appropriate authorizations from NOAA Fisheries, completed its three seismic surveys in the Pacific Northwest. No marine mammals were observed harmed during these surveys; some incidental harassment did occur as authorized under the surveys’ incidental harassment authorizations. Just one group of killer whales (likely transients) was sighted from a support vessel during the surveys.
No Southern Resident killer whales were known to be affected. The required monitoring reports from these surveys will be available in 90 days at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm#ldeo_seismic2012. The post-cruise monitoring reports will be available on the National Science Foundation’s website at www.nsf.gov/geo/oce/envcomp/index.jsp. NOAA and the action agencies greatly appreciated the participation of local sighting networks and researchers during operation of the survey.