Erich Hoyt (@erichhoyt) – the man who wrote the book on Orcas (almost all the books) – talks about how he and the world learned about orcas, saving our oceans and more with Skaana (@Skaanpod) host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung). Erich’s books include: Orca The Whale Called Killer; The Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises; Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises; Weird Sea Creatures and much, much more. This is our first two-part episode… in part two Erich shares his adventures in fighting the Russian orca trade, his thoughts on how to whale-watch and stories of strange sea creatures.

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The Killer Whale Who Changed the World… 

Orcas Everywhere…


Whales Through a New Lens: Forty years ago, the world’s whale researchers met in Indiana. The now legendary, but nearly forgotten, meeting changed the way scientists and the public see whales—and it all started with a few photographs. Erich Hoyt in The Hakai

Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises by Erich Hoyt Book Trailer

‘I’m always optimistic, I have to be.’ Author recalls early orca research amid book tour

White killer whales were a legend – now they are everywhere

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Erich Hoyt
 “If you get to know them as individuals, you get this attachment and it’s beautiful.”

“If you get to know them as individuals, you get this attachment and it’s beautiful.” 

“You walk in to these places and, and maybe you were interested in dinosaurs before because you’ve heard of them, and then suddenly you look up. If you see them in the of natural history and New York or, or you find the room in Edinburgh, Scotland or Toronto, you find the room where there’s a blue whale. And you look at it and you realize it’s a lot bigger than dinosaurs, you know, and it’s alive today.”

“You know, in terms of climate change and everything else there, there isn’t a movement that I know of that’s anywhere near, I mean, there certainly isn’t a movement like what Greta has done with the climate emergency.”

“You know, to be honest, I realized this in redoing my book, you know, we have this sort of natural human desire to get closer and closer. You know, we’re. Visual creatures largely, and we want to fill our frames with, you know, what we see in a way.”

“I think more and more the older I get, the more I’m thinking about, the best way to observe wildlife is to stand off a bit.”

“[in regards to whale watching] the best thing you could do is just kind of stand back in awe and let it happen and try and take notes in your head. About what’s happening.”

“We really need to pay attention to that if we’re going to have these whales and other species around in the future.”