June 18, 2009

June is Orca awareness month throughout Puget Sound. There are many events planned to raise awareness about  the need to protect these giant creatures that live in the waters of Puget Sound.

We have received a letter from Susan Berta, Whidbey Island Hot Spring Jetsetter owner about her efforts to monitor whales traveling through the sound:
“I have been a Hot Spring Spa owner for many years, & have referred others to your wonderful spas. I have a request for other spa owners that live on or near the water in Puget Sound.  We have a non-profit organization, Orca Network, and track whales throughout Puget Sound & BC Waters. We sometimes get the thrill of listening to whales pass by in the night while we are soaking in our Hot Spring Spa. We’d like to encourage others who have hot tubs near the water to listen for whale spouts in the night, and report them to our whale-sighting network at 1-866-ORCANET. You can help us gather valuable data on our beloved Orcas and gray whales if you just let us know when you are lucky enough to have whales swim by while you’re soaking – how much better can it get?!!I”

Whales are seen everyday from May through October in Puget Sound.  If you’re fortunate enough to spot one or a pod, before you report a sighting, answering some or all of the following questions will be a big help for Orca researchers:

Type of whale seen (orca, gray whale, etc.)
Number of animals seen?
Where did you see them (latitude and longitude if possible)?
What direction were they traveling?
When did you see them (date and time of day)?
What were they doing? Playing? Feeding (on what)?
Were there any males (very large fin on their back)?
Any unusual markings? Scars?
Have you seen whales in this area before?
Did you get photos that may identify individuals?

For more information on sightings, check out the website:

If you’d like to know more about Orcas, don’t miss the Orca Month event at the Aquarium next week:  “Southern Resident Orcas, Then and Now: What Have We Learned? A look back at the Southern Residents, threats to their population, and current status.” Sponsored by Orca Network, Seattle Aquarium, & Puget Sound Partnership

Tuesday, June 23rd, 6:30 pm
at the Seattle Aquarium
1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59, Seattle, WA

Sign up on the Orca Network Website and remember to keep the Orca Network phone number near your hot tub to report sightings. 1-866-ORCANET (672-2638).

SANUM PER AQUA. Latin for Health through Water.