This is one my favourite encounters of 2023 – the brief time I got to spend with K Pod of the Southern Resident Killer Whales.
They were traveling southwards down the coast about 2 miles offshore and were very spread out when we approached. There was breaching, tail lobbing, and spyhops. You could see splashes and fins quite a ways in the distance. Their behaviour reminded me of my early days photographing the SRKWs in the Salish Sea back in 2012.
There’s just something so different about the movement of Resident Orcas through the water compared to Biggs/transients. It’s quite magical to see.
Ourselves and the other boats who came out only spent a short time with them each and followed the viewing guidelines for our region. The SRKWs face heavy pressure from a lack of chinook salmon, their primary food source, and an increase in shipping and tanker traffic through some of their preferred waters in the Salish Sea. Their population has been heavily impacted by captures for captivity and the impacts of toxic chemicals in the food chain, which impact calf survival rates.
All photos taken with a 600mm telephoto lens and heavily cropped.
? on the territories of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Nations.