The Center for Whale Research worked tirelessly and relentlessly advocating for immediate action by politicians to reverse the dramatic decline of Chinook salmon stocks (SRKWs prey of choice). CWR was front and center at each of the six meetings of the Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery and Task Force (Ken Balcomb is a Task Force member); presented solutions to the plight of the SRKW at numerous events; and spoke out boldly in the media concerning the sick and starving animals within the Southern Resident orca community. Also, we reached out to as many people as we could with a focused educational message: through the Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center, through whalerearch.com, and through social media channels. We asked these individuals, like you, to take personal action to push positive change on the salmon issue for the benefit of the Southern Resident orcas. See What other action can you take? and MEMBERSHIP news for some ideas about other things that you can do to help.​​

The Center for Whale Research utilizes media opportunities to speak to politicians and other decisionmakers and the general public about what needs to be done, NOW, in an attempt to save the Southern Resident killer whales. See CWR In The Media for more examples of our media outreach. 

Speaking Out: (Dec 2018 Newsletter)
Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery and Task Force 

 

Event & Conference Presentations 

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In The Media

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"The activities of the past two weeks are just the whales telling the story that I could never tell ..." 

Ken Balcomb interviewed by Q13 NEWS reporter Simone Del Rosario (see her series of SRKW reports) at the Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery and ​Task Force meeting on Wednesday, October 17, in Tacoma, WA.

"Focusing on other factors, while politically attractive, as they are easily within reach and implemented, are likely to be as effective as putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound."
 
Dr. Darren Croft, Center for Whale Research Scientific Advisor - Animal Social Networks, stresses the importance of the Southern Resident Killer Whales Recovery and Task Force taking bold action to tackle the primary issue standing in the way of the orca's survival – the lack of Chinook salmon. This quote is from the article, The Future for Southern Residents, written by Croft and CWR Field Biologist/ Ph.D. Candidate, Michael Weiss, in a 2018 issue of The Journal of the San Juan Islands.

"We have to do something about getting more salmon [Chinook] available to them... It's going to have be restoring the fish population to at least some semblance of what they use to be." 

Ken Balcomb's final comment about the J35 and J16 stories during a King5 News Seattle broadcast on August 3.

Ken Balcomb: "Witnessing Extinction" An episode of A-Pod Cast For Killer Whales

By Alison Morrow

A-Pod Cast explores the challenges facing the survival of the Southern Resident killer whales, the 74 orcas on the brink of extinction.

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Ken Balcomb interviewed by Q13 NEWS reporter Simone Del Rosario at the Task Force meeting on Wednesday, October 17, in Tacoma, WA.

NOAA Public Meeting: Sept 15, 2018

Angry at plight of southern-resident orcas, speakers rebuke NOAA in public meetings

By Lynda V. Mapes 

Seattle Times environment reporter

 

Scores of local residents condemned the federal agency in charge of protecting local killer whales in two packed public meetings over the weekend, highlighting growing frustration after the deaths of three of the animals this summer. The endangered southern resident killer whales, of which just 74 ...

Ken Balcomb speaks about the J50 situation at the NOAA public meeting Saturday, September 15, at Friday Harbor High School.

"The SRKW, which should be here every day from May to October, or almost every day, is scarcely here anymore. That tells me that the salmon that they dine on are far and few between." 

Ken Balcomb interviewed by Peterson/Hawley Productions.

"We have to do something about getting more salmon [Chinook] available to them... It's going to have be restoring the fish population to at least some semblance of what they use to be." 

Ken Balcomb's final comment about the J35 and J16 stories during a King5 News Seattle broadcast on August 3.

Ken Balcomb abstains from consensus vote on final Task Force recommendations 

 

On November 7, he wrote the following to Alison Morrow (KING5 News) and Lynda Mapes (The Seattle Times):

 

"Frankly, I am embarrassed for the conveners and participants of OTF [Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery and Task Force] who had to endure blatant and ill-informed political manipulation of a process launched with the good intention of doing something bold to help recover the Southern Resident killer whales. The laundry list of recommendations and the 'bold' last minute introduction and passage of wording proposing a meaningless moratorium of a benign activity while skirting THE major problem for these whales - salmon population crashes throughout their range - is appalling. Honesty was crushed by politics and vested interests, even within agencies whose responsibility it is to manage natural resources sustainably. The whales are on their own in their downward spiral toward extinction along with the natural wild runs of Chinook salmon that we used to call 'King'. 

To find the root causes of this devious manipulation, one has to simply follow the money - first look at the BPA Columbia Basin Fish accords for clues, and then look at the industries that have prevented and are preventing natural salmon recovery."

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