Recent on the water


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The Southern Resident orcas need your help like never before. For these magnificent whales to survive, and for their community to grow, they need us to be their voice.
together we will be a strong collective voice for the whales.


An Encounter refers to any time we observe killer whales (orcas), from one of our research boats or land, where at least one individual is identified and photographed. Typically, 2-4 staff are involved in an encounter. Once we come into contact with whales (ie. within distance of identifying individuals by sight) we have begun our encounter. During an encounter, our main goal is to photograph every individual present from both the left and right side.   



Enc # • Date • Pods
A New Baby in L Pod


The Center for Whale Research (CWR) is thrilled to confirm that a new calf, L125, has been born into the Southern Resident killer whale (SRKW) community. CWR's Senior Staff / Photo Identification Specialist, Dave Ellifrit, captured images that show L125 with fetal folds, indicating a relatively recent birth.

"It is nicely filled out and appears to be a perfectly normal little calf," said Ellifrit.

 Read more >

J58 is a girl!

CWR is pleased to confirm that J41's calf, J58, is female (see photograph). This approximately six-month-old calf was born in September 2020. Jeanne Hyde photographed J58 from shore yesterday; the calf was rolling, showing her underside, which revealed her gender.

New females in the Southern Resident killer whale community are critical to the population's sustainability.

We celebrate this news!

 Photograph of J58 courtesy of Jeanne Hyde. 

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Where is the Salish Sea exactly?

Salish Sea Transboundary Ecosystem 

Click map to enlarge.

Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada

Salish Sea: 

Measures 17,000 sq km (6,564 sq mi) with 7,470 sq km (2,884 sq mi) of coastline; 37 species of mammals, 172 species of birds, 247 species of fish, and 3,000+ species of invertebrate inhabit the region (119 of these are at risk); eight million people make their home in the area