In this episode, Team SeaDoc works with scientists trying to save the Salish Sea’s most iconic and endangered species: the Southern Resident killer whale. The goal is to collect critical health and diet data from each of the 73 surviving animals. So how does a wildlife veterinarian make a house call to do non-invasive medical tests on 10-ton killer whales in the open sea? It takes sharp eyes and a fine mesh net.
Ocean Night is back for another awesome season at the Sea View Theatre! See you there!
Browse the schedule and join us for a free night of family-friendly science. We’ll keep the theatre nice and warm, so don’t let the cool weather and the early nights keep you at home. Ocean Night is a perfect opportunity to engage with the community during the down season.
The SeaDoc Society joined forced with the Vancouver Aquarium marine mammal rescue staff and officers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) last week at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve, a marine protected area near Sooke, on Vancouver Island. The teams were responding to reports of at least one Steller sea lion and one California sea lion seen entangled in plastic.
On arrival by DFO boat to Race Rocks, and with the help of the Race Rocks Eco-Guardians, teams were able to spot a male Steller sea lion, weighing more than 1,000 pounds, with a plastic packing band wrapped tightly around its neck. The depth and severity of the wound indicated that the plastic had been there for some time.
This year REEF and SeaDoc Society’s Advanced Assessment Team was deployed at Hornby Island in British Columbia. The team spent a week doing REEF surveys of fish and invertebrates at the wonderful dive sites around Hornby Island in the Care of Hornby Island Diving. Visibility was quite good for most of the dive sites, reaching 60 feet a couple times. The Team did 10 dives at different sites and also added in a few dives right in front of the resort. This video by Ed Gullickson is just a few of the highlights of this effort.
The Salish Sea is a great example of a beautiful place where people and the natural world are dependent on one another. In scenic locales like protected national parks, people are not so much participating in nature as they are observing it. In the Salish Sea people are fishing, heating their homes with firewood, and more.
In this short segment is a “b-side” for the mini feature film, Returning. In the clip, SeaDoc Society Science Director Joe Gaydos reflects on what makes this ecosystem special.
Our Science Director, Joe Gaydos, will be honored with the Local Hero Award at the Friday Harbor Film Festival on San Juan Island this fall! The award will be presented at 7pm on October 27th, the final night of the festival. If you’re interested in attending the event, which takes place at the Whittier Theatre at the San Juan Community Theatre, check out their website for ticket information.
Jump on board the Nancy Bee as we relocate a stranded harbor seal pup from San Juan to Yellow Island, where adult seals regularly haul out. Not all pups can be expected to survive pupping season, but this gives little Z8 a chance... This work is done in conjunction with the Marine Mammal Stranding Network and The Whale Museum.
In early August, three Southern Resident killer whales were declared dead by the Center for Whale Research. That brings the population down to just 73. Each of the dead whales are from separate Southern Resident pods.
“There is nothing good about losing three animals in a population that was numbered at 76,” said SeaDoc Science Director Joe Gaydos. “In no way can I find a silver lining to this news.”
A local crew of sailors and marine scientists are leaving on an expedition this week to look for the rarest whale in the world, the North Pacific right whale.
The expedition will be led by Kevin Campion, founder of marine education nonprofit Deep Green Wilderness and member of SeaDoc Society’s Board of Directors. Campion and a crew of four are setting sail out of Dutch Harbor, Alaska on Wednesday, August 14, en route to the Bering Sea to continue their search for the rare whale.
The Salish Splash is an annual event that brings awareness to the Salish Sea and its many species. Our Science Director Joe Gaydos was challenged by Mindy Roberts of the Washington Environmental Council. After doing a backflip for this event last year, Joe wanted to take it up a notch, so he invited all of Team SeaDoc to join him for an even bigger splash! What better way to show your support and enthusiasm for orca recovery and Salish Sea health than by jumping for joy into the water?
Less than half of the people in Washington and British Columbia have heard of the Salish Sea, even though they live alongside it.
That’s according to a recent study from The SeaDoc Society, a program of the University of California, Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine, and Oregon State University. The study reveals that only 5 percent of people in Washington and 14 percent of British Columbians can identify the Salish Sea—the marine ecosystem that spans the United States-Canada border and includes both Seattle and Vancouver.
Ask any ocean lover to name the biggest threats to ocean conservation and you’ll get a list so long it will make you uncomfortable: derelict fishing gear, increasing underwater noise, invasive species, ocean acidification, overharvest, plastics, toxins, warming water, and so on.
What you probably won’t hear is the word disease—not because the agents of disease are microscopic and out of sight, but because we know so little about how they affect the marine environment. Most people have never thought of parasites and pathogens as agents of change or important ocean stressors.
Our Science Director Joe Gaydos spoke Western Washington early this year as part of their Huxley Speaker Series. He discussed the importance of having a sense of place when it comes to protecting an ecosystem like the Salish Sea. How can you work to protect something if you don’t first connect with it? Watch the presentation below to hear more. Thanks to Huxley College for hosting us!
We’re excited to announce two exciting additions and (one transition) to the greater SeaDoc team!
Laura Donald is our newest member of the the Board of Directors and Marco Hatch and Marguerite Pappaioanou have joined our Science Advisory Committee. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have all three of them in these roles! Their insight and drive will be immensely valuable as we carve our way through 2019 and beyond with science as our foundation and new outreach and education opportunities on the horizon.
SeaDoc Society Science Director Joe Gaydos speaks about SB 5577 (Orca whales/vessels) to the Washington Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks Committee on Feb 12th, 2019. Watch Joe’s statement below:
Want to call your legislator and share your thoughts about Southern Resident Killer Whale recovery? Do it today!
The Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) is a flagship species, a cultural icon, and an economic driver for Washington State. However, depleted Chinook salmon stocks, vessel-related noise and disturbance, and increasingly polluted waters put the orca population at risk of extinction. Efforts are underway to aid and support orca recovery, but these efforts are time consuming and expensive.