Action Alert: Navy’s Proposed Action Deadly To Resident Orcas


By Kirsten Massebeau

The comment period closes on April 15 for the Navy’s Proposed Actions in the Puget Sound.and the entire Northwest Training Complex.The Navy plans to add pier-side testing and maintenance, increased sonar practicing, and increased underwater charges and mines. While the Navy tries to minimize the impact of their activities Ken Balcomb senior scientist at The Center For Whale Research has actually heard, and seen the damage.

Listen to the OPB interview with Ken Balcomb senior scientist at The Center For Whale Research featured in Candace Calloway Whiting’s article: Hear Ear-splitting Navy Sonar, and Watch the Orca Whales Respond

Please follow this link and read the Navy’s Proposed Plan HERE. Once you have read the proposed action you can then comment on the three deadly and important changes they are seeking. The ability to do pier-side sonar testing and maintenance one of the worst. An increase in sonar, and mines exercises and increase in underwater charges is unacceptable!

Sample Letter:

“I am writing in opposition to the Navy’s proposed expansion of their Northwest Training Complex. I want to begin by opposing pier side sonar testing that would take place in an ESA listed habitat for resident orcas not to mention the many other cetaceans, marine mammals, and ocean life living close to the shorelines. Increasing these tests dock side is out of the question. There is no limit to the damage and deaths it will cause.

I also oppose and increase in underwater charges, increased war games using sonar, and explosion of underwater mines.
“Alternative 1 includes some activities that were not analyzed in previous documents. New activities being considered include:
“Use of new and existing unmanned vehicles and their acoustic sensors, in support of homeland security and anti-terrorism/force protection. This type of training is critical in protecting the nation’s military and civilian harbors, ports and shipping lanes.
Use of 0.50-caliber blanks in Puget Sound in support of force protection training of the Navy’s Maritime Expeditionary Security Force.
Addition of a biennial maritime homeland defense mine countermeasure training exercise in Puget Sound and analyzing the amount of time acoustic sensors are used during that event”.
All of the above expansions are unacceptable. I am supporting NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE and a slow departure of the Navy from the Puget Sound area and Pacific Northwest. It’s time to end the Navy’s war on whales”.

COMMENT HERE!!!

Please use the above information and compose your comment now opposing the Navy’s proposed action increasing their deadly activities in the Puget Sound!

PLEASE COMMENT NOW!!!

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Demonstrators Demand The Captive L Pod Orca Lolita Be Retired and Released!


By Kirsten Massebeau

Lolita has performed for 43 years at Miami Seaquarium. Read the Plan for her retirement.

Lolita has performed for 43 years at the Miami Seaquarium. Read the Plan for her retirement.

On October 3, 2013 Barbara Napoles a long time dolphin activist received a call from an Australian news channel about doing a demonstration and interview about Lolita the last L Pod member alive in captivity today. Despite her busy schedule with her popular Facebook page Save the Blood Dolphins Napoles put together and amazing event in less than a week that drew 50 activists including Ric O’Barry of the Dolphin Project/creator of the academy award-winning documentary The Cove, and the media.

Lolita is a subject close to Napoles heart as she grew up in the Miami area where Lolita has performed for 43 years at the Miami Seaquarium. Napoles has attended, and created, many demonstrations for Lolita known as Tokitae in the Puget Sound where the L pod, her family, her mother, sister and other L pod mates still live today. According to Napoles, “I am sure the L Pod is awaiting Lolita’s return. She has performed for 43 years in one of the tiniest tanks on the planet at the Miami Seaquarium doesn’t she deserve to retire?”.

Barbara Napole and Ric O'Barry brainstorming at the Free Lolita Event on October 12, 2013

Barbara Napoles and Ric O’Barry brainstorming at the Free Lolita Demonstration October 10, 2013

The L pod capture on August 8, 1970 took seven young whales for captivity one of which was Lolita. The whales were sold to marine parks around the world. During Lolita’s capture five whales, including four babies had their bellies slit, then filled with rocks, and weighted down with chains and anchors to keep their deaths from coming to the public’s attention. Of the seven whales taken for captivity Lolita is the only L pod orca from the Penn Cove captures that remains alive today. (Source)

Demonstrators pose for a picture. Their message loud and clear let Lolita go home!

Demonstrators pose for a picture. Their message loud and clear let Lolita go home!

On May 24, 2013 the government announced that they would reconsider Lolita’s status as endangered that she has previously been excluded from:

Apr. 24, 2013: We accepted a petition to include the captive killer whale known as Lolita in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing of Southern Resident killer whales. We are soliciting scientific and commercial information about Lolita’s status to ensure that our ongoing status review is comprehensive. Acceptance of this petition doesn’t  presuppose any particular outcome. The comment period closes Jun. 28, 2013. See the Federal Register notice and other materials below for more information; or contact Lynne Barre, 206-526-4745. (source)

What would become of Lolita after 43 years in Miami Seaquarium? Her teeth are still good which gives her a fighting chance. There is a proposal and a good one. Many people in the Pacific Northwest and worldwide want to see Lolita released and returned to her pod. The plan can be read here. Isn’t it time that an orca taken from her family so long ago is given a chance to enjoy the rest of her life with her family? Doesn’t she deserve some kind of retribution for the life that was stolen from her all those years ago in Penn Cove.

Endangered Species Act Listing May be Lolita’s First Step Towards Freedom


By Kirsten Massebeau

Lolita correctedA battle to return the imprisoned orca Lolita also known as Tokitae  to her family the L-Pod in the Puget Sound makes steps forward, and towards freedom. Lolita is on the verge of being listed on the Endangered Species List. NOAA is considering adding Lolita to the Endangered species list to join her other pod mates in Washington thanks to a petition. The Orca Network believes that once she is listed she must be freed, allowed to retire and return home to her family in the Puget Sound:

“This means Lolita will now, presumably, be included as a member of an endangered population and must be accorded all the legal protections provided to her extended family. That would mean that her incarceration in a concrete box for the benefit of the entertainment industry would henceforth be illegal” (source

The cruel Penn Cove round up, 1970

The cruel Penn Cove round up, August 8, 1970

For 40 years Lolita has been imprisoned at the Miami Seaquarium in one of the worlds tiniest tanks. Lolita is known as the remaining survivor of the famous Penn Cove Round up that took place August 8,1970. Seven whales were taken for captivity during the violent round up. Five other whales, including four babies drown. The victims that were killed had their bellies slit and filled with rocks in an attempt to cover up their deaths. But on November 18, 1970 the terrible secret of what happened that terrible day at Penn Cove would be revealed to the world:

“In mid-November a trawler dragged the bodies of the drowned infants into its net. The captain of the fishing boat deposited the dead baby whales on a beach in front of a Seattle newspaper reporter, and the story was immediately told to the world. Six years later this discovery played a major role in a court decision that banned Sea World from ever capturing another killer whale in Washington State”. (source)

Lolita enslaved at the Miami Seaquarium

Lolita enslaved at the Miami Seaquarium for 40 years!

Lolita has been performing at the Miami Seaquarium since 1970. The other seven whales captured with Lolita died within five years of their capture. Today Lolita the last remaining member of those captured from the Puget Sound has a chance at freedom and we can help! NOAA is asking for public comment on her upcoming Endangered Species listing. Please make a comment here. Let them know you support her addition to the endangered species listing and her eventual freedom. Isn’t it time this highly intelligent hard worker is allowed to retire and return home?

Acoustic Naval Experiment Promises Deadly Consequences for Whales Dolphins of the Western North Pacific Ocean


By Kirsten Massebeau

Proposed locations of the sonar experiment http://1.usa.gov/15ZUgLl

Proposed locations of the U.S. Naval acoustic experiment (source)

The Office of the Naval Research (ONR) is proposing an acoustic technology experiment (ATE) during spring, summer 2013 in the Western North Pacific:

The nine provinces are discrete areas identified with the following 5 geographic titles as presented in the analysis results herein: Sea of Japan, East China Sea, South China
6 Sea, North Philippine Sea, West Philippine Sea, East of Japan, Offshore Guam, Northwest Pacific 7 Ocean: 25º to 40º North latitude, and Northwest Pacific Ocean: 10º to 25º North latitude.. No more than 8 four underwater acoustic sources will be employed during the experiments, with none of the ONR ATE 9 sources transmitting concurrently, and with all sources operating below 1.5 kilohertz (kHz) and a sound 10 pressure level (SPL) less than 220 decibels (dB) for a total of no more than 69 hours of acoustic
11 transmissions over six days (Source)

All active sources will transmit below 1.5 kHz and a SPL less  15 than 220 dB for a total duration of no more than 69 hours (hr) over six at-sea days (source)

All active sources will transmit below 1.5 kHz and a SPL less
15 than 220 dB for a total duration of no more than 69 hours (hr) over six at-sea days (source)

If the permit to perform this ATE sea life,whales and dolphins living in an already challenging Western North Pacific Ocean riddled with long line fishing, trawlers, hunting, shipping strikes and shipping noise will be exposed to 220 dB for extended periods of time as seen in the chart above.

2000 Bahamas stranding caused by Naval Sonar

2000 Bahamas stranding caused by Naval Sonar

Connections between Naval acoustic activities and strandings are on the rise. While few strandings due to sonar are acknowledged by the Navy the stranding in the Bahamas in 2000 was confirmed and the effects were devastating as noted by cetacean researcher and expert Ken Balcolmb in an interview discussing the 2000 stranding in the Bahamas:

Yes there’s actually hemorrhaging going on. It isn’t an auditory injury per se. It affects the ears, but this pressure damage is not related to whether or not the whales have temporary threshold shift in their hearing [a hearing loss]. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) says these injuries are survivable-and they are, but only with hospitalization. And whales don’t have that option. (source)

Navy sonar recorded 2003 in the Puget Sound.

Orca approach researchers

Orca approach researchers Puget Sound, Washington

Join the voice of opposition to the use of Naval Sonar and all acoustic devices in the oceans.

Please leave a comment asking NOAA/NMFS to deny the Navy’s request for a permit to do  acoustic experiments in the North Pacific. The comment period on this permit ends on May 2, 2013 so get your comment in today! 

Comments on the application should be addressed to P. Michael Payne, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. The mailbox address for providing email comments is ITP.Magliocca@noaa.gov.

Read the entire permit proposal hereFollow the permits as they are listed here.

SRP Orca L-112 Would Praise Orcasphere


By Edward Johnson
Mother and Calf
(L86) and her daughter, Victoria (L112) by Hysazu

Researchers to Navies: Stop Using Sonar Near Puget Sound (switchboard.nrdc.org) There is no question L-112 is gone, a young female that eventually washed up on the Long Beach Peninsula of WA. Her life ahead may have lasted many decades beyond, only her traumatized remains can attest to what must have been a nightmarish end to her existence. The body of evidence will prove that her death was most probably caused by the sonar testing being conducted by the Canadian Navy. Both L & J Pod members were observed holding up in Discovery Bay which is located adjacent to the Straits of Juan De Fuca, an area in-which these pods had never before been observed using.This Bay would have provided protection from the Medium Frequency Acoustic waves that certainly reverberated back and forth across the Straits. It was no accident that these Pods had selected this particular location to hide.  By looking at the Google map provided(http://maps.google.com/maps?near=%4048.114767,-122.766037&geocode=&q=discovery+bay&vps=1&f=li&hl=en&jsv=399b&sll=49.717376,-122.596436&sspn=2.486233,4.669189&vpsrc=6&ei=RUhYT6foCYmNigL73oXTBg), the small land mass directly North of the entrance to Discovery Bay would have provided sonar sound wave protection from HMCS Ottawa. The fact that the Canadian Naval vessel was located in Canadian waters and to the North-East of Discovery Bay would substantiate this contention. Further the extensive hydrophone system that has been used for years in this location to track specific identifiable sound patterns emitted by each whale, recorded some alarming communications. See http://www.orcasound.net/wp/2012/02/06/canadian-sonar-in-us-critical-habitat/  These unusual sounds ran concurrent with the naval training exercises. The above link which includes all elements of the entire sonar incident leave no question as to the responsibility for the Orca death. L-112 may have been, so to say, too young, at the wrong depth, at the wrong time, at the wrong location and suffered drastic damage to her own sensitive sonar system.

It is most exciting to include the following blog by Candace Calloway http://blog.seattlepi.com/candacewhiting/2012/03/07/dead-orca-l-112-is-beginning-to-reveal-the-story-of-her-death/  and the great opportunity extended to her by those conducting the necropsy. The anatomical pictures  & labels associated with the newly defined echolocation system of a toothed whale are exactly what the public needs. In the past cetacean conservationists have been most suspicious of these nercopsies but having Candace Calloway Whiting as a witness, a person who is truly concerned about the welfare of dolphins and whales, is restoring some lost faith. Interesting to see the results of the necropsy reports and to what degree those assess the sinus system used by cetaceans to echo-locate.

“Southern Orca Resident Pod Member L-112 Hereby proclaims that the entire group of 19 known otherwise as Orcasphere, be recognized for a most commendable effort to notify both the Canadian and US. Government  officials of their worthy petition. This petition clearly identifies the factors, events, location and ship involved in my untimely and traumatic death that I suffered on or about Feb 6, 2012. You, by opposing future sonar testing of MFA, have properly notified the powers to be, something that my fellow sea mates have long sought.  Though it was long before my time, my mother L-86 has often taken me to the location of the horrific event in 2003 during which the USS Shoup conducted those sonar shattering MFA blasts. The assumption then, based on the deaths of our seal cousins, would see a future with no further sonar testing”. L-112 interpretation imaged by Edward Johnson

In final tribute the names of those signing that petition from Orcasphere are fully recognized. Brave and truth searching souls, one and all.

  1. David Bain, Ph.D
  2. Robin Baird, Research Biologist, Cascadia Research Collective
  3. Stefan Bråger, Research Director/Curator, The Whale Museum
  4. John Calambokidis, Research Biologist, Cascadia Research Collective
  5. Fred Felleman, Vice-President, Board of Directors, The Whale Museum
  6. Andrew Foote, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  7. Deborah Giles, MSc, PhD Candidate/Research Biologist, UC Davis
  8. Rachael Griffin, B.Sc. Marine Biology, Aquagreen Marine Research, Victoria, BC
  9. Erin Heydenreich, Field Biologist, Senior staff at the Center for Whale Research
  10. Cara Lachmuth, MSc., Contract Biologist, Victoria, BC
  11. Patrick Miller, Lecturer, School of Biology, University of St Andrews, Scotland
  12. Richard Osborne, Ph.D., Research Associate, The Whale Museum
  13. Paul Spong, Director, OrcaLab and Pacific Orca Society, Alert Bay, BC
  14. Helena Symonds, Director, OrcaLab and Pacific Orca Society, Alert Bay, BC
  15. Scott Veirs, President, Beam Reach Marine Science and Sustainability School
  16. Val Veirs, Professor of Physics, Colorado College
  17. Monika Wieland, BA in Biology, Reed College
  18. Jason Wood, Ph.D., Research Associate, The Whale Museum
  19. Harald Yurk, Research Associate, Vancouver Aquarium


Note the following story appeared in the Victory, B.C. paper on Feb. 11th just to show that on that day they still hung to the, “not responsible line,” little wonder we the people lack confidence in military explanations.  http://www.timescolonist.com/life/fashionshows/paris/Sonar+endanger+mammals+navy+insists/6138281/story.html?id=6138281

Free Lolita from Seaquarium End Cetaceans in Captivity


Today, when I conducted my regular search on whales, I was looking for a follow-up on a previous search regarding Killer Whales sighted off Malibu, Cal.  Since Feb. 8th when I entered this inquiry, no one has responded.  The actual occurrence took place on Jan. 19. What I instead found was the well documented story about this former Killer Whale Pod member Lolita(check link below for full story) kidnapped, abducted, shanghaied, sold to the highest bidder by whatever method, to become a captive slave for mega corporation Wometco Enterprises Incorporated. After listening to and watching that document, we at Champions for Cetaceans, will do everything within our power to further the cause resulting in returning her to the Puget Sound.  This story is adding up to be another FREE WILLIE. How many times must we go through this exercise before the public rectifies such outlandish cruel treatment.  Seaquarium representatives apparently are not interested in the million dollars being offered to purchase this 40-year-old. They say it would be impossible to transport it, when their own slavery practices periodically move these genetically close relatives of ours, to a new corporate setting, wherever the greatest revenue will be gained. Boycott all Marine Mammal Amusement Parks, and all aquariums with cetaceans on display. Can you imagine spending your lifetime in a small room without windows or sound. When Lolita is done performing and doing tricks, and all the people have gone, she spends the rest of her day alone in a cement tank cut off from the sounds of the ocean, and her family still alive in Washington.
Lolita the Killer Whale
Naturally, seeing the size of the human trainers standing on the stage gives a perspective on Lolita’s size. The bottom picture is of dirty water at Seaquarium. I can find no reference of any reputable authority that approves of the physical facility where way too many cetaceans have perished. This place, with the exception of Lolita, has been and continues to be a death trap.
Disgusting!!

http://blog.seattlepi.com/candacewhiting/2011/02/22/eyewitness-account-of-the-orca-lolitas-traumatic-arrival-at-the-amusement-park-whales-name-linke