Last December, NOAA’s controversial southern resident killer whale satellite tagging program was given the go-ahead. The aim of the project is to better understand where these orcas go in the winter. On February 20th, J26 “Mike” as darted with a tag and his movements now being tracked.
Critics of the program posit that the the risk posed to this fragile group of orcas does not out way the benefit of information collected by the tags. The southern resident killer whales have compromised immune systems due to high toxicity levels, and there is concern the wound (however small) left by the satellite tag barb may become infected and be to much for the whale’s immune system to handle.
J26 “Mike” is the first to receive a tag (in the dorsal fin). As you will read on the website linked below, older animals are being targeted, as to reduce the risk of harming more reproductively valuable members of the community. I guess that means Mike’s life is more expendable than others. Sigh.
Here are a few photos of Mike and his family.

Read more about it here: Southern Resident Killer Whale Satellite Tragging

Photos: Oceanceo, Dave Ellifrit, Mrmritter, Mark Malleson, Monika Wieland

Last December, NOAA’s controversial southern resident killer whale satellite tagging program was given the go-ahead. The aim of the project is to better understand where these orcas go in the winter. On February 20th, J26 “Mike” as darted with a tag and his movements now being tracked.
Critics of the program posit that the the risk posed to this fragile group of orcas does not out way the benefit of information collected by the tags. The southern resident killer whales have compromised immune systems due to high toxicity levels, and there is concern the wound (however small) left by the satellite tag barb may become infected and be to much for the whale’s immune system to handle.
J26 “Mike” is the first to receive a tag (in the dorsal fin). As you will read on the website linked below, older animals are being targeted, as to reduce the risk of harming more reproductively valuable members of the community. I guess that means Mike’s life is more expendable than others. Sigh.
Here are a few photos of Mike and his family.

Read more about it here: Southern Resident Killer Whale Satellite Tragging

Photos: Oceanceo, Dave Ellifrit, Mrmritter, Mark Malleson, Monika Wieland

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