Orca Update: RIP Sonic & #stopkm

When we set out to launch the Skaana podcast there were 83 Southern Resident orcas in the Salish Sea.

Today there are 76.

We’re losing matriarchs, we’re losing babies. The Center for Whale Research just declared that J52, Sonic, was missing and presumed dead. The last images of Sonic showed that he was starving to death.

One of the last photos of Sonic (J52)

One of the last photos of Sonic (J52)

Our latest episode of Skaana is a special news bulletin with an update on the status of the Southern Resident Killer Whales and what's happening in Canada and the US to help save this unique community.

These orcas are starving.

Skaana podcasts connect you to news and experts and their discussions about environments, oceans, and orcas.

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Here’s the news release from The Center for Whale Research.

The Southern Residents need Chinook salmon. The salmon run this year, was more of a salmon walk.

Meanwhile, Canada's National Energy Board — which pretty much never met a pipeline they didn’t like - declared that if everything goes perfectly according to plan with the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, if not a drop of oil is ever spilled that the increased tanker traffic will have “significant adverse effects” on the southern resident orcas.

A population of 76 can not survive "significant adverse effects."

Kinder Morgan equals extinction - which is the case EcoJustice is making in their court challenge on behalf of the orcas.

The court challenge started TODAY. Pro-whale campaigners - and campaigners dressed as whales - were on the stepsof the Vancouver Art Gallery on Monday October 1st.

Over the next two weeks lawyers from Eco-Justice and a variety of environmental groups, First Nations and other governments will be fighting to #stopkm.

Meanwhile, In Washington State, there is a demonstration in honor of Sonic outside Sen. Patty Murray's office on October 6. Demonstrators are demanding the immediate removal of the Snake River Dam to save the salmon to save the whales.

Experts on both sides of the border are no longer shying away from the E Word. "Extinction."

Not long ago we lost Granny - J2 - the world’s oldest orca and the matriarch of the southern residents. The last known photo of Granny shows her feeding a salmon to a baby whale - because that’s what orcas do.

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Older orcas will give up their food, they will risk their freedom, they will starve to death to save their babies.

It’s time for Canada and the US to look at fisheries closures… Now. To give up our food - and pass on some primo sushi - to save these orcas.

In upcoming episodes, we’ll have guests in to talk about what needs to be done NOW to save this community, this unique culture.

We're featuring this art by Tasli Shaw to help get the word out. Please share it.

If we’re going to save these orcas, this unique future, we need to save the Chinook.

And this needs to happen NOW.