The Orca whale baby boom of 2015 where the largest number of healthy baby whales ever recorded were born is over.
The University of Washington reports Orca’s are unable carry their babies to term due to starvation brought on by collapse of their food supply, salmon.
However just two years ago the baby boom of 2015 followed in perfect gestational timing with the restoration of the North Pacific Ocean pasture by a native people’s and government approved ‘salmon restoration’ business that resulted in the largest catches of salmon in all of history in 2013-2014.
My salmon restoration business that operated from 2009-2013 proved that ocean pastures along with their salmon, Orca whale, and indeed all of ocean life could be easily and inexpensively restored to historic health and abundance. The business was subjected to pernicious and ruthless attacks of ‘fake news’ promoted by so called ‘green’ movements working closely with the Canadian government which engaged in a series of unlawful to say nothing of unwarranted actions with the apparent intent being to destroy the business…. they succeeded. The value of losses that resulted may have exceeded $1 billion dollars.
Any practical and effective restoration of Nature that delivers a low cost climate change solution along with bringing back the fish and the baby whales… and worst of all it is for profit instead of justifying billions of new taxes… got to stop that!
Years of patient engagement with and documented approval of the carefully planned ocean pastures restoration business plan by the company with myriad government ministries at Federal, Provincial, and local levels proved ultimately to offer no protection.
Not even the fact that the work was heavily funded and supported by prestigious National Research Council of Canada, Ministry of Northern and Indian Affairs, Canadian Space Agency, and Ocean and Fisheries Institutes, Export Development Corporation of Canada, the Canadian Scientific Research and Export Development tax credit agency, British Columbia Provincial Government, NASA, NOAA, academic organizations and many more proved worse than worthless.
Throwing the baby Orcas out with the bath water
The proof is now tragically seen in the form of generations of baby Orca whales being thrown out with the bath water. The fact that IT JUST WORKED, and worked so well and inexpensively was the taken as the worst of news by the organizations and ministries whose bloated budgets depend on endless stories of doom and gloom. They conspired, confected, and undertook a withering and relentless attack. Restoration of nature be damned was their white privilege battle call ‘those damned indians are not going to be allowed to restore the ocean pastures and bring back the fish’.
Today in the prestigious scientific Journal PLOS ONE the depths of the depravity of the Canadian government and its green minions is made clearer than the clear blue lifeless ocean waters of the North Pacific. Scientists report that lack of food, aka starvation, is a primary reason endangered resident killer whales are failing to rebound, according to a new study that links failed orca pregnancies to stress brought on by low or variable abundance of salmon, the whales’ favorite prey.
Salmon are fish that spend a tiny part of their life in fresh water and part out feeding on distant ocean pastures. It is on those ocean pastures that salmon live or die depending on whether the pasture is healthy and abundant or as has become the tragic present normal a clear blue lifeless desert. Salmon put on more than 95% of their body weight grazing on their ocean pastures.
The study nails dearth of salmon as the primary cause of the endangered resident orca whale failure to rebound. The team of boffins has isolated lack of food as the primary factor — bigger than vessel traffic, bigger than toxins — limiting recovery of resident killer whales.
In a paper published Thursday in PLOS ONE, a team led by Sam Wasser, professor of biology and director of the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington tracked the nutritional, physiological and reproductive health of southern resident killer whales — the J, K, and L pods of orcas that frequent the Salish Sea, including the San Juans and the waters of Seattle. The study links low reproductive success of the whales, with a total population of just 78 animals, to stress caused by low or variable abundance of their favorite prey: salmon.
Scientists continue to evaluate the role of vessel traffic, including whale-watch boats, toxins, and food supply in the orca’s troubles. Wasser said his results point to food as key.
“It’s the fish,” said Wasser, whose team found that of 35 pregnancies among whales tracked from 2007 to 2014, only 11 produced a live calf.
The females with failed pregnancies had levels of hormones indicating nutritional stress seven times higher than females that successfully gave birth.
“Pregnancy failure — likely brought on by poor nutrition — is the major constraining force on population growth,” Wasser said of resident orcas, a federally listed endangered species since 2005.
The number of pregnancies aborted was certainly higher as the team was unable to detect the earliest months of pregnancy, which is when failed pregnancies most commonly occur.
Deborah Giles, research director at the nonprofit Center for Whale Research, and an author of the paper, said vessel traffic and toxics and lack of food are all bad for the whales, but when whales are well-nourished, other problems don’t affect them as much.
“If the whales are well-fed, you don’t see a strong signature for stress hormones related to vessels,” Giles said. “They are going through problems of famine and deeper famine.”
Here’s a clip below from one of my blog posts from 2015 when the news was just the opposite of today’s dire doom and gloom report. Keep reading because the good news is we can restore and replenish vital ocean pastures and you can help.
The gestation period of an orca at 17 months is the longest known of all cetaceans, and all these new baby Orcas says something wonderful must have already happened to bring the mother Orca’s back to healthy fertility and new babies into our world.
Mother Orca’s may bear a calf in the best of times only every 3-5 years however in recent times more than a decade has passed between even one Orca birth so it is clear something wonderful happened on the Orca ocean pastures to bring health and abundance back to those pastures.
Orca’s aka ‘killer whales’ that roam the ocean pastures of the NE Pacific are experiencing a joyous Orca whale baby boom with a fourth baby orca now seen in the waters of the Salish Sea making this a winter of record births. The latest healthy newborn was spotted Monday by whale-watching crews and a naturalist in the waters of British Columbia, according to the Pacific Whale Watch Association, which represents 29 whale-watching operators in Washington and British Columbia.
With so many new baby Orca’s being seen in the tiny region covered by the whale watching tourist fleet many more are sure to be born in the vastly larger and remoter regions of the west coast of North America.
The new baby orca, seen above, was swimming with other members of the J-pod, one of three families of orcas that are protected in Washington and British Columbia. Ken Balcomb, a senior scientist with the Center for Whale Research at Friday Harbor, confirmed the birth to the Associated Press on Tuesday. The center keeps the official census of endangered southern resident killer whales for the federal government.
The birth brings the population to 81, still dangerously low. Listed as an endangered species in the USA since 2005, these Orca whales have been struggling because of dramatic collapse of NE Pacific ocean pastures and fish that are their primary food.
Their ocean pastures and the fish that used to grow on those pastures have been turning into an ever bleaker blue desert for decades, at least until something wonderful happened in 2012.
The history making record return of salmon to Alaska in the fall of 2013 (and huge return of Spring/Chinook salmon in 2014) offered the first glimmer of a return to health of the NE Pacific ocean pasture. More than 4 times the expected number of salmon were caught, 226 million vs. 50 million, proved a bounty of abundant ocean pasture life was available to all including the Orcas. The salmon kept coming as last years record numbers returning to the Columbia river attest. For the Orcas this abundance of fish to eat leading to healthier mother whales came at just the perfect time to provide for and explain our new abundance of adorable babies.
This is a world of endless doom and gloom about the plight of nature.
In 2012 our small band of nature lovers set about to be good shepherds and to replenish and restore a key ocean pasture of the NE Pacific. We succeeded beyond our wildest dreams and the ocean that had become a blue desert bloomed with incredible abundance. A volcano of life poured back into that depleted ocean pasture. Then just as expected one year later the baby salmon that were thriving instead of starving on that flourishing ocean pasture brought the first proof of something wonderful happening to us.
In Alaska that year instead of the “good” catch of 50 million Pink salmon predicted 226 million salmon swam into the nets and onto the plates of Alaskan fishermen and American children. The largest catch of salmon in all of history!
Here’s a bonus story from our work restoring and replenishing our North Pacific ocean pasture. We were joined in that effort by two Orca’s known very well by our native ships cook as Uncle Fred and Little Fred. This is their story.
Now Replenished and Restored Ocean Pastures Are Bringing Us Easter Lambs
The results of our ocean pasture replenishment and restoration are being seen in perfect timing as a result of Orca mothers being well fed and nourished in the fall of 2013 and in prime breeding health. Darling Orca “lambs” of the ocean pasture are here for all to enjoy. Well perhaps they are more like darling Orca “wolf pups” but never-the-less new babies are always a welcome sight.
“This one looked quite plump and healthy,” said Balcomb, who reviewed photographs of the newborn. “We’re getting there. We wish all these babies well. They look good.”
Michael Harris, executive director with the Pacific Whale Watch Association, said, “Who doesn’t love baby orcas, right?” But he, too, urged measured optimism. “We’re going to keep a careful watch on these babies and our fingers crossed”.
The newest orca was spotted Monday swimming with a calf that was born in December and a female whale. Another calf was born to the J-pod in early February, while a calf in the L-pod was observed in late February. Balcomb said he thinks the baby’s mother could be J-16, the female whale it was swimming with Monday. But it may be some time before the relationships are sorted out, he added.
A penny for our planet is all that is needed to restore ocean pastures everywhere!
Our work isn’t complete. Ocean pastures like pastures on land need perpetual good shepherding. That’s the life’s work before us and our children. We must give back to nature so that she may give back to us. The effort is not so grand and impossibly expensive as those who would demand trillions to save the planet from the ills of our fossil CO2 induced deadly climate change.
The cost of replenishing and restoring ocean pastures around the world is not trillions, not billions, but mere millions. We’ve proven it works and we’re delighted to welcome the new baby Orca’s into our world and theirs to prove it. You can help by supporting the work, not in approving more than you can afford but instead spending the very least you might possibly give – just a penny for our planet.