Scene in Edmonds: Orca surprise

Photographer Julia Wiese said that on Saturday, July 6, “the ferry Puyallup kept blowing its horn at what we assumed was a boat about to cross its path as it headed into Edmonds. That craft stopped and went behind the Puyallup. Soon thereafter, the Puyallup came to a stop and we noticed a bunch of people on the front of the ship. So we thought it might be one of those burials at sea.” She then learned from a neighbor that there were orcas in front of the Port of Edmonds Marina.

Here are her shots covering what transpired:

The ferry Puyallup with passengers getting a nice surprise.
This photo shows four orcas. One of them is hard to see as it’s mostly underwater.
The orca appears to head straight toward the couple in the raft.
It veered to the right before reaching them.
  1. Wonderful, I was at the beach with the family yesterday and heard the ferry blow its horn a few times.
    I saw the whales once before in the bay when we were eating at Arnies.So glad you saw them.

  2. It broke my heart when I read the April 2, 2024 article in the Seattle Times: “Extinction risk to southern resident orcas accelerating as researchers raise alarm.” There are many things we need to do to help them, but some of the main ones are reducing shipping noise and enacting fishery reform and habitat restoration to allow more salmon to spawn. Boats need to slow down to help reduce the noise that interferes with the orcas’ ability to hunt, and we can reduce or eliminate salmon from our diet. We don’t need to eat so much salmon. The orcas need the salmon. They must consume 200-300 lbs or more of food each day. I just shudder to think of an orca mother starving so she can’t feed her baby. That’s why I can’t even walk by the fish counters in grocery stores anymore without feeling an ache in my heart at the sight of salmon fillets. We can’t let the orcas vanish from our waters.

  3. Good capture Julia. Sorry we missed them. We were on the Puyallup enjoying the view from the bow on the upper deck to & from Kingston Saturday but sadly not on this run.

  4. Swoon! They were just late to the parade!
    Meantime, we don’t need to give up eating all salmon, that healthy gift from the sea, but we should refrain from buying Chinook, otherwise known as King, salmon because that’s the favorite of our southern residents by far. We can also encourage our grocers not to sell Chinook until that time when we might persuade our beloved orcas to diversify their diet :).

    1. Jean: That’s good information… though farmed salmon does pollute the waters and is not good for any wild creatures of the sea. I still myself won’t eat any salmon, but I like the idea of focusing in on the Chinook/King salmon with grocery stores, and perhaps the restaurants too.

  5. The Chinook salmon or any other type of salmon you might buy in a store are unlikely to have much bearing on the survival or not of Southern Resident Orcas. Wild Chinook salmon present at times where those marine mammals live and feed are protected by law and must be released if sport caught or caught in purse seine type commercial nets when Chum and CoHo fishing. Hatchery Chinook salmon are marked by removal of the adipose fin and any Chinook caught that has a fin must be released unharmed and this is highly enforced with them being sold as human food being very unlikely. The Southern Residents are barely hanging on in large part because of the availability of these hatchery Chinook that have been put in the system for years since the wild runs have collapsed mainly due first to over fishing and then degradation of their spawning areas. The Wild Chinook and the Orcas are both highly endangered. It might be helpful to ban all types of Chinook fishing in the Salish Sea but that would really be an unpopular move in all the marine fishing industries that target these tax money funded hatchery produced Chinook.

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