8 episodes

There are only around 70 Southern Resident Killer Whales remaining in the wild and they’re looking directly at extinction if things don’t change now.

Southern Resident Orcas are emotionally intelligent and they have complex family dynamics. They also have a deep spiritual connection to the tribes and first nations who’ve been in the Salish Sea since time immemorial.

Over the next six weeks, we’ll dive into those issues and more, with some brilliant guests joining us along the way. Click subscribe and spread the word!

Pod of Orcas: Saving Southern Resident Killer Whales SeaDoc Society

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 21 Ratings

There are only around 70 Southern Resident Killer Whales remaining in the wild and they’re looking directly at extinction if things don’t change now.

Southern Resident Orcas are emotionally intelligent and they have complex family dynamics. They also have a deep spiritual connection to the tribes and first nations who’ve been in the Salish Sea since time immemorial.

Over the next six weeks, we’ll dive into those issues and more, with some brilliant guests joining us along the way. Click subscribe and spread the word!

    Finale: Our Shared Home, with Lynda Mapes & Joe Gaydos

    Finale: Our Shared Home, with Lynda Mapes & Joe Gaydos

    In our finale episode, we look at Southern Resident Killer Whales through the eyes of the Seattle Times environment reporter, Lynda Mapes. Lynda has been locked into their story since Tahlequah carried her dead calf for 17 days and more than a thousand miles in the summer of 2018. That story captured the world and Mapes’ articles for the Times are some of the most popular in the paper’s online history. Tahlequah’s story is also how she introduces her beautiful new book, Orca: Shared Waters, Shared Home, which comes out June 1, but you can preorder now: mountaineers.org/books/books/orca-shared-waters-shared-home

    Rate, review and share the podcast to spread the word. You can email me at justin@seadocsociety.org. Get our free monthly newsletter at seadocsociety.org/newsletter. 


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    Thanks to our sponsors:


    Shearwater Kayak Tours
    Rainshadow Solar
    Two Beers Brewing Company
    Deer Harbor Charters and The Averna Family
    Betsy Wareham and West Sound Marina
    The San Juan County Marine Resources Committee
    Apple State Vinegar
    Logo: FLOAT.org
    Music: Podington Bear
    Whale sound: The Whale Museum

    • 58 min
    6. Toxic blubber, with Peter Ross

    6. Toxic blubber, with Peter Ross

    In Ep. 6, we look at how human-made contaminants in the ocean are compromising killer whales and compounding the other problems they face. Fat soluble toxins move up the foot chain and accumulate in killer whales, who metabolize it in their blubber. Mothers also pass those contaminants down to their babies when nursing. Our guest is the excellent Peter Ross, who takes this complex subject and artfully breaks it down. Next week is the finale and it's a good one. See you then! 

    Rate, review and share the podcast to spread the word. You can email me at justin@seadocsociety.org.

    Get our free monthly newsletter at seadocsociety.org/newsletter


    Facebook: facebook.com/seadocsociety
    Instagram: instagram.com/seadocsociety
    Twitter: twitter.com/seadocsociety


    Thanks to our sponsors:


    Shearwater Kayak Tours
    Rainshadow Solar
    Two Beers Brewing Company
    Deer Harbor Charters and The Averna Family
    Betsy Wareham and West Sound Marina
    The San Juan County Marine Resources Committee
    Apple State Vinegar
    Logo: FLOAT.org
    Music: Podington Bear
    Whale sound: The Whale Museum

    • 34 min
    5. Looking to gorillas to save killer whales, with Kirsten Gilardi

    5. Looking to gorillas to save killer whales, with Kirsten Gilardi

    In Ep. 5, we look at a conservation success story that could help map out the future for Southern Resident Killer Whales. The similarities between mountain gorillas and Southern Residents are plenty: Both can be individually identified and monitored by researchers. Both are massive tourist attractions--which on one hand comes with threats, but also brings enthusiasm, support, and the potential for funding to ensure protection. Both also regularly cross the imaginary borders humans have drawn to carve up our countries, meaning international collaboration is crucial. Our guest is Dr. Kirsten Gilardi, Director of Gorilla Doctors and Executive Director of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. 

    Rate, review and share the podcast to spread the word. You can email me at justin@seadocsociety.org.

    Support our work through GiveBIG this week! 

    Get our free monthly newsletter at seadocsociety.org/newsletter


    Facebook: facebook.com/seadocsociety
    Instagram: Instagram.com/seadocsociety
    Twitter: twitter.com/seadocsociety


    Thanks to our sponsors:


    Shearwater Kayak Tours
    Rainshadow Solar
    Two Beers Brewing Company
    Deer Harbor Charters and The Averna Family
    Betsy Wareham and West Sound Marina
    The San Juan County Marine Resources Committee
    Apple State Vinegar
    Logo: FLOAT.org
    Music: Podington Bear

    • 43 min
    4. Orca sound & human noise, with Rob Williams

    4. Orca sound & human noise, with Rob Williams

    In Ep. 4, we enter the acoustic world of killer whales, and what that means for how they talk with their families, hunt for salmon, navigate the sounds of boats, and so much more. Our guest is Rob Williams, who is Chief Scientist and Co-Founder of Oceans Initiative with Erin Asche.
    Acoustic communication is fundamental to the survival of killer whales and their uniqe culture, so don’t miss this one. Rate, review and share the podcast to spread the word. You can email our host at justin@seadocsociety.org.
    Support our work through GiveBIG this week!
    Get our free monthly newsletter at seadocsociety.org/newsletter

    Facebook: facebook.com/seadocsociety
    Instagram: instagram.com/seadocsociety
    Twitter: twitter.com/seadocsociety

    Thanks to our sponsors:

    Shearwater Kayak Tours
    Rainshadow Solar
    Two Beers Brewing Company
    Deer Harbor Charters and The Averna Family
    Betsy Wareham and West Sound Marina
    The San Juan County Marine Resources Committee
    Apple State Vinegar
    Logo: FLOAT.org
    Music: Podington Bear
    Whale sound: The Whale Museum

    • 47 min
    3. How captivity changed everything, with Jason M. Colby

    3. How captivity changed everything, with Jason M. Colby

    In Ep. 3, we look at how humans have viewed and treated killer whales throughout history, especially in the Salish Sea. It starts with slaughter by fishermen, followed by captivity for entertainment, all the way up to our present moment, in which wild Southern Resident Killer Whales are endangered, but beloved. We look at portrayal in media (Free Willy, Blackfish and more) and get into how captivity shifted scientific study and shaped perception of orcas in ways that would ultimately lead to a ban on their capture in the Salish Sea. 

    Our guest is Jason Colby, author of the book Orca: How We Came to Know and Love the Ocean’s Greatest Predator. This is a moving and at times sad conversation that explores hard truths. But it ultimately offers hope. Rate, review and share the podcast to help spread the word.

    Get our free monthly newsletter at seadocsociety.org/newsletter


    Facebook: facebook.com/seadocsociety
    Instagram: Instagram.com/seadocsociety
    Twitter: twitter.com/seadocsociety

    Thanks to our sponsors:


    Shearwater Kayak Tours
    Rainshadow Solar
    Two Beers Brewing Company
    Deer Harbor Charters and The Averna Family
    Betsy Wareham and West Sound Marina
    The San Juan County Marine Resources Committee
    Apple State Vinegar
    Logo: FLOAT.org
    Music: Podington Bear

    • 51 min
    2. Could we lose salmon in our lifetime?, with Cecilia Gobin

    2. Could we lose salmon in our lifetime?, with Cecilia Gobin

    In Ep. 2, we talk about salmon—the sole food source for Southern Resident Killer Whales. Our guest is Cecilia Gobin—a Tulalip tribal member who is on staff at the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. She's incredibly thoughtful and and exactly the kind of voice you want speaking on this topic. 

    How did we create such a bleak situation for this amazing species of fish? Could we lose salmon in our lifetime? What happens if the status-quo continues? Listen to find out. Subscribe to follow along.

    Get our free monthly newsletter at seadocsociety.org/newsletter

    • Facebook: facebook.com/seadocsociety

    • Instagram: Instagram.com/seadocsociety

    • Twitter: twitter.com/seadocsociety

    Thanks to our sponsors:

    • Shearwater Kayak Tours

    • Rainshadow Solar

    • Two Beers Brewing Company

    • Deer Harbor Charters and The Averna Family

    • Betsy Wareham and West Sound Marina

    • The San Juan County Marine Resources Committee

    • Apple State Vinegar

    • Logo: FLOAT.org

    • Music: Podington Bear

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

Jeff May Art ,

Inspirational podcast

I really enjoy the podcast, I’m currently living in Idaho and it connects me to my roots and inspires me to stay connected.

Appppreviewer ,

Great intro to how special these creatures are!

I learned so much incredible trivia about the lives of these whales and how different the southern resident orcas are than the other killer whales. They have a distinct culture, for instance, they do a greeting line when the different pods encounter each other, which none of the other orca groups do! This podcast was so inspirational to listen to and gives you a window into what’s going on underwater just outside our doors.

orcardi ,

Super informative

So appreciate the thoughtful coverage and wonderful guests!

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