Orcas among most contaminated marine animals

Orcas among most contaminated marine animals

Photo: KGMI

KGMI News Reporting
By Tracy Ellis

SEATTLE, Wash. – Scientists studying southern resident killer whales for the past decade say they are among the most contaminated marine mammals.

Lynne Barre with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says they don’t know a whole lot more.

Barre says, “The recovery of southern resident killer whales is so complicated because they have a range that goes from California to Southeast Alaska, including Canadian waters.”

New research reveals the mysterious lives of the small population of endangered killer whales that frequent Puget Sound.

Despite efforts including new vessel rules and designated critical areas, Barre says the Orcas continue to struggle to recover and more long-term work is needed to help them.

The research also shows the Orcas prefer Chinook salmon, hunt less and call louder when vessels are in the area.

They head to the outer coast during the winter, foraging as far south as central California.


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