PWWA MEDIA WATCH - BBC Doc Features Southern Resident Orcas!
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Natural WorldBBC's Natural World: "Killer Whales, Beneath the Surface" / The World's Most-Renowned Natural History Unit Explores the Crisis Facing the Southern Resident Orcas of British Columbia and Washington State  / "The Captures" and "Tucker the Pooper-Snooper Dog" / Featuring Dr. Sam Wasser and Archive Footage and Project Consultation from Michael Harris, Baby Wild Films


Humpack transparent  SURFACING WHALE STORIES...

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Six-week-old orca J51 with 24-year-old J27 off Pender Island, BC. (Photo: Naturalist Valerie Shore, Eagle Wing Tours, Victoria.)

Baby Orca J50 Comes Out to Play - Pacific Whale Watch Association Reports That J-Pod Babies are "Lively and Rambunctious" / CBC News  / March 29, 2015

New Southern Resident Orcas Doing Well / CHEK News  / March 29, 2015

New Baby Orcas Healthy, "Leaping for Joy" / KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / March 28, 2015

GRAY WHALE WATCHING SEASON OPENS!  Northern Puget Sound has its "regulars" back, massive gray whales taking three-month pitstops every spring off of Everett and Whidbey Island from the greatest migration in the animal kingdom. Whale watchers have a 100% chance of seeing these amazing creatures. Book now with Island Adventures, Mystic Sea Charters, Victoria Clipper or Puget Sound Express Seattle/Edmonds.

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50 Feet of Gray, Now Showing in Puget Sound / Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times  / March 13, 2015

Mexico Death Shocks B.C. Whale-Watching Operators / Glenda Luymes, The Province  / March 12, 2015

A Deadly Whale Encounter in Mexico Hits Home in BC / Scott Cunningham, CTV News  / March 12, 2015

NEW BABY IN L-POD! (below) Exclusive NOAA Video of L121 and family off Westport, WA on February 24, 2015.

BABY BOOM! (below) Newborn Southern Resident orca L121 with mother L94. This is the third calf reported in the population since 12/30/14. Photo: NOAA Fisheries.

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Baby Boom in Southern Resident Killer Whale Population / Global News / February 27, 2015

NEW ORCA IN L-POD! / KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle)  / February 26, 2015

Third Orca Calf Born Within Two Months off Vancouver Island / CBC News  / February 26, 2015

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ANOTHER NEW BABY!  Newborn J51 with mum J19 in Haro Strait, off San Juan Island, WA (photo: Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research.

Second Orca Born to J-Pod / Michael Harris Says J51 Breathes Hope Into Endangered Whale Population. / JoAnn Roe, CBC Radio "The Early Edition" / February 13, 2015

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New Orca Calf Born to Endangered Southern Resident Pod - 2nd baby whale in two months born to JPod is more good news for endangered population. / CBC News  / February 13, 2015

Another Baby Orca Spotted in Endangered Killer Whale Pod off B.C. Coast / The Province  / February 13, 2015

“This is about the best Valentine’s Day present you can imagine,” said Michael Harris, executive director of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, which represents 32 tour operators in Washington and B.C.

Newborn Killer Whale Spotted off Vancouver Island / CTV News  / February 13, 2015

Another Baby Orca Born! It’s the Second in the Past 2 Months / Q13 FOX News (FOX Seattle)  / February 12, 2015

SeaWorld Testifies Against Measure Banning Whale Capitivity in State / Long before the 2013 anti-whale-captivity movie “Blackfish” and Thursday’s hearing on a proposed bill to ban whale captivity, Washington has been home to opposition of using wild whales for display and entertainment in aquariums. / Walker Orenstein, Seattle Times  / February 5, 2015

Brian Goodremont from San Juan Safaris and the Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA) is against whale captivity and has been in the whale-watching businesses for 15 years. The industry is thriving, and Michael Harris, director of the PWWA estimated his association of businesses (18 in Washington) has seen 15 percent growth in the last two years.

“I grew up with the wildlife ethics through my family that the best place to view wildlife is in their natural environment with no or very little impact on their natural functions or life cycle,” Goodremont said. “From a professional standpoint I think it’s most interesting to view those animals in their natural environment.”

“We just think that it’s a tsunami of public perception against the idea of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity in the care of humans,” Harris said. “You can’t keep an animal that travels 100 miles a day in the care of humans because that’s not caring for them.”

The Toxic Threat to One of the World’s Rarest Killer Whales / A Canadian city has green-lighted a hazardous-waste recycling plant — right next to salmon spawning grounds that feed Southern Resident orcas. / PWWA joins coalition of groups on both sides of the border in raising concerns about project sited along the Fraser River location, the world’s No. 1 producer of Chinook, the preferred diet of the critically endangered whales.  By David Kirby,  / January 26, 2015

(below) Banged-Out Baby... Center for Whale Research photo of newborn J50 with bite and rake marks. Scientists and experts speculate that orcas within J-Pod assisted in the birth of J50, pulling it out of its mother.


Orca Baby Not Traveling With Mother, Scientists Believe / After the celebrated sighting of a baby orca in the Salish Sea earlier this week, questions have emerged about the baby’s birth and the identity of its mother. / Paige Cornwell, Seattle Times  / January 3, 2015

Orca Midwife? Scientists Say It May Have Happened / The birth of a new Southern Resident Killer Whale raised a lot of hopes this week, but it's also raised some questions. / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / January 2, 2015

NEW YEAR'S BABY IN J-POD! Godspeed, little blackfish. We need you.  Photo by Naturalist Valerie Shore, Eagle Wing Tours, Victoria, BC.

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Orca Midwife? Scientists Say It May Have Happened / The birth of a new Southern Resident Killer Whale raised a lot of hopes this week, but it's also raised some questions / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / January 1, 2014

SOUTHERN RESIDENTS / A New Year’s Baby for Endangered Southern Resident Orcas / Amy Judd, Global News  / December 31, 2014

Endangered J-Pod of Orcas Have a New Baby / J50 was Born Into the J-Pod of Killer Whales Sometime This Week, and Appears to be Healthy / CTV News  / December 31, 2014

The Old Year Ends With Newborn J-Pod Orca / Richard Watts, Victoria Times Colonist and Vancouver Sun  / December 30, 2014

(below) KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle): New Year's Baby in J-Pod! / December 30 and 31, 2014.


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Lions Club’s Christmas Ship Visits Island Children / JoAnn Roe, Bellingham Herald  / December 15, 2014

NO FISH, NO BLACKFISH... In response to the loss of J32 and her baby on December 4, 2014, the Pacific Whale Watch Association took part in a restoration of some of the Cedar River watershed near Seattle, WA, a work day hosted and organized by the non-profit organization, Whale Scout, together with King County Parks. Also participating were members of the Friends of the Cedar River Watershed and Orca Conservancy. PWWA and many there decided that the best way to mourn the loss of yet another of our endangered Southern Resident orcas was to do something positive like this, to fix some of the damage we've done to these salmon habitats. No fish, no blackfish. We encourage everyone who wants to contribute to orca recovery to do the same. No matter where you live, you can help. Contact Whale Scout or PWWA and we'll help you find a project in your backyard.

Dead Orca was Pregnant With Full-Term Fetus / A necropsy on the endangered orca found dead off Vancouver Island showed it was pregnant with a full-term fetus, and that some of her teeth had been removed, Canadian officials say. / Phuong Le, Associated Press  / December 8, 2014

Necropsy on Killer Whale J-32 Reveals Orca had Full-Term Fetus / Cause of Death Still Undetermined, DFO Spokeswoman Says / CBC News  / December 6, 2014

Dead Orca Found Off B.C. Coast Is 'Tragic' Loss / Huffington Post and Associated Press  / December 5, 2014

Orcas are Showing Up in the Puget Sound in Unprecedented Numbers / United Press International (UPI)  / December 1, 2014

Exotic Orca Whales Wandering Inland Waters of Pacific Northwest in Unprecedented Numbers / Delhi Daily News (India)  / November 30, 2014

Skipper Spots Rarely Seen Coastal Orcas West of Port Angeles / Peninsula Daily News  / November 28, 2014

Coastal Transient Orcas Make Their Way to Salish Sea / Jenna Iacurci, Nature World News  / November 28, 2014

California Killer Whales Showing Up in Puget Sound; Reason is a Mystery / The Associated Press  / November 27, 2014

"Exotic" Orcas Visit Inland Waters in Unprecedented Numbers / Sandi Doughton, Science Reporter, The Seattle Times  / November 26, 2014

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PWWA's Eagle Wing Tours of Victoria, BC Wins Transat AT Sustainable Tourism Award at 2014 Canadian Tourism Awards / Tourism Industry Association of Canada  / November 26, 2014

Record Numbers of 'Exotic' Orcas Visit Pacific Northwest / The Olympian (Olympia, WA)  / November 22, 2014

Whale-Watch Boats Report Unprecedented Sightings of Outer-Coast Transient Killer Whales / California Orcas Drawn to Salish Sea by Thriving Seal Population, Fisheries Scientist Says  / Larry Pynn, The Vancouver Sun  / November 21, 2014

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The Pacific Whale Watch Association was asked to present a 40-minute panel on 2014 sightings at the 22nd Annual BC Marine Mammal Symposium in Vancouver, BC on November 22. Panelists were Seattle-based PWWA Executive Director and ABC News journalist Michael Harris, Naturalist/First Mate Jen Dickson of Prince of Whales Whale Watching in Victoria, Capt. Gary Sutton of Wild Whales Vancouver, and Capt./Naturalist Michael Colahan of Island Adventures Whale Watching in Everett, Anacortes and Port Angeles.

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The Exotics - Outer-coastal transient killer whales CA173, CA166 aka U033, and CA172 west of Race Rocks, BC on Septempber 15th. Photo by Capt. Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales Whale Watching, Victoria.

Sightings of "Exotic" Transient Orcas on the Rise in Puget Sound  / KOMO 4 News (ABC Seattle)  / November 14, 2014

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(above) Newborn Southern Resident orca L120 with family in September off San Juan Island, WA. The calf,  the first birth in the population since 2012, is now missing and presumed dead. Photo by Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research.

7-Week-Old Baby Orca Missing, Presumed Dead  / Linda Shaw, The Seattle Times  / October 21, 2014

'We Might Have Averted Catastrophe Here': (Neah Bay-Stationed) Tug Boat Arrives to Help Adrift Russian Container Ship off B.C. Coast (also see PWWA "Our Boats") / The Canadian Press  / October 18, 2014

Tug Towing Disabled Russian Container Ship to Port  / ABC News and Associated Press  / October 18, 2014

"While many measures are in place to reduce the probability of major oil spills, the effects of such spills are potentially catastrophic to the Southern Resident (orca) population, either through direct mortality or from harmful physiological effects, as shown by the significant declines in two groups of Alaskan killer whales that likely resulted from the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989." 

Recovery Plan for Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) Prepared by National Marine Fisheries Service Northwest Regional Office

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ORCA SAVER.... The Barbara Foss stationed at Neah Bay. 

PUD Abandons Tidal Energy Project - Siting of Project Opposed by PWWA, Washington Tribes and Conservation Groups / Kari Bray, The Everett Herald  / September 30, 2014

A Whole Lotta Lags... A group of 150 Pacific white-sided dolphins, or "lags," visit the Salish Sea. Photos by Capt. James Mead Maya and Naturalist Jeanne Hyde of Maya's Westside Whale Charters, Snug Harbor, WA.

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Sightings Of Spectacular Dolphin Superpods Boom In Vancouver Island / The Huffington Post  / September 29, 2014

Superpods of Pacific White-Sided Dolphins Leap in Waters of Strait of Georgia / The Province (Vancouver, BC)  / September 29, 2014

White-Sided Dolphins Make Rare Appearance Near Victoria, B.C - Dolphins Normally Seen Much Further North Return in Numbers Not Seen in a Decade / Mike Clarke, CBC News  / September 28, 2014

Large Dolphin Pod Surfaces Off Victoria Breakwater / CHEK News  / September 28, 2014

Rare White-Sided Dolphins Spotted Near Victoria, San Juans / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim and Ashley Stewart, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) and NorthWest Cable News (WA, OR, AK, ID and MT)  / September 26, 2014

Salish Sea Sees Return of Pacific White-Sided Dolphins / Lynsi Burton, Seattle Post-Intelligencer  / September 26, 2014

NEW PWWA VIDEO! Pacific white-sided dolphins off Victoria, BC on September 23-24, 2014. Video by Naturalist Jeanne Hyde of Maya's Westside Whale Charters and Naturalist Dylan Iverson of Eagle Wing Tours.

Huge Pods of White-Sided Dolphins Seen in the San Juans / San Juan Islander  / September 26, 2014

Orca Calf Born in Puget Sound Cause for Joy / Emery Dennel, China Topix / September 8, 2014

First Orca Calf Born Since 2012 / Busta Sebetseba, News Tonight Africa / September 8, 2014

Newborn Calf Spotted Among Endangered Orcas For The First Time In Years / Stephen Messenger, The Dodo / September 8, 2014

Updated Photos: Eyewitness Describes Birth of Orca in Puget Sound Waters / Jake Ellison, Seattle Post-Intelligencer / September 7, 2014

Orca Calf Born to Puget Sound Resident Pod / USA TODAY and Susan Wyatt, KING-TV (NBC Seattle)  / September 7, 2014

Puget Sound Orca Pod Welcomes Newborn Calf / KOMO 4 News (ABC Seattle)  / September 7, 2014

Puget Sound L-Pod Welcomes Newborn Calf / KIRO 7 News (CBS Seattle)  / September 7, 2014

Puget Sound's Endangered Killer Whales Continue Decline / Associated Press  / August 31, 2014

Two Deaths Reduce Orca Population to Lowest Level in 30 Years / Christopher Dunagan, The Kitsap Sun / August 31, 2014

Transient Orca Sightings Hit All-Time High in Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca / Jake Ellison, Seattle Post-Intelligencer  / August 28, 2014

Whale Watchers See Huge Surge in Transient Orcas, but Southern Resident Population Not Doing So Well / Frank Luba, The Vancouver Province  / August 28, 2014

Transient Orca Sightings in Salish Sea Setting All-Time Record / Amy Smart, Victoria Times Colonist  / August 28, 2014

PWWA Releases New Data on Record Transient Orca Sightings in the Sound and Straits / San Juan Islander  / August 28, 2014

FISH, BLACKFISH: Pacific Whale Watch Association Crews Report “Best Year” for Resident Killer Whale Watching in the Sound and Straits in Decades – But Scientists Warn that Orcas are Still in Trouble / San Juan Islander  / August 13, 2014

KIRO RADIO ON-DEMAND: "One the Water: NOAA's 10-Year Report Edition" / PWWA's Michael Harris joins NOAA's Lynne Barre and Mike Ford and Ken Balcomb from The Center for Whale Research to discuss the impacts of boats on the whale populations. /  Hosted by Bob McLaughlin, KIRO Radio  / July 6, 2014

Wandering Whales Force Pause in Explosives Exercise / The Canadian Forces suspended an exercise involving explosives on Bentinck Island on Thursday after a whale-watching crew notified them that orcas were arriving in the area. / Sandra McCulloch, Victoria Times Colonist  / July 3, 2014

KIRO RADIO ON-DEMAND: PWWA's Michael Harris Discusses What Whale Watch Boats are Doing to Help Orcas  /  Libby Denkmann, KIRO Radio  /  June 27, 2014

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Ailing Kayaker Pulled from Water off Oak Bay, Saving His Life / Jeff Bell, Victoria Times Colonist  /  June 25, 2014

Whale Watch Boat Rescues Hypothermic Kayaker: A Pacific Whale Watch Association Crew was Involved in Another Dramatic Rescue in the Waters off Vancouver Island Monday, June 23  / San Juan Islander  /  June 25, 2014

Environment Northwest: NOAA Report on Puget Sound Orcas Angers Tour Boats / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  /  June 25, 2014

Whale Watch Boat Rescues Kayaker Off Oak Bay / Louise Hartland, CTV News  /  June 23, 2014 / VIDEO

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MAYDAY: Whale Watching Boat Rescues Two People From Burning Ship / Q13 FOX News (FOX Seattle)  /  June 13, 2014

Whale Tour Rescues Boaters /  Gulf Islands Driftwood  /  June 11, 2014

Springer the Orphaned Orca Seen off B.C. Coast With her Own Calf  / "They appear to be healthy and robust... normal in every way,” Lance Barrett-Lennard from Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Research Program, wrote in an e-mail from the field. “Great stuff.”  / The Globe and Mail  /  June 11, 2014

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CENTENARIAN CETACEA. 103-year-old Southern Resident orca J2, or "Granny," left, with L87, or "Onyx," in the foreground in the southern Strait of Georgia on May 9. Photograph by Capt. Simon Pidcock. Ocean EcoVentures of Cowichan Bay, BC.

Her Heart Still Goes On: Killer Whale Called "Granny" Born the Year Before the TITANIC Sank is the Oldest in in the World, Aged 103 / Victoria Woollaston, The Daily Mail (UK)  /  May 14, 2014

Whale Watchers Spot World’s Oldest Orca in Gulf Island / Bruce Totolos, The French Tribune  /  May 14, 2014

Orca "Granny," World's Oldest, Spotted In B.C. Waters / The Huffington Post  /  May 13, 2014

Oldest Known Orca Seen off Saturna Island / Sarah Petrescu, Victoria Times Colonist  / May 12, 2014

World's Oldest Orca, 103-Year-Old "Granny," Spotted off B.C. Coast / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  /  May 12, 2014

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Rare photo of minke whale calf (left) surfacing in Salish Sea.  Photo by Island Adventures Whale Watching Captain/Naturalist Brooke McKinley.

Rare Sighting: Minke Whale Mother Spotted with Newborn near San Juan Island / Travis Mayfield, Q13 FOX News (FOX Seattle)  /  May 6, 2014

Environment Northwest: Earth Day Concert Benefits Whale Research / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  /  April 22, 2014

(below) "Kiss the Sky! The Orca Freedom Concert" Press Conference with Ann and Nancy Wilson, Graham Nash, Arielle, Country Joe McDonald, and PWWA President and Baby Wild Films Principal Creative Michael Harris.  April 22nd, 2014 / Raw Footage

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"Kiss the Sky! The Orca Freedom Concert" / Arielle Performs Live! 
/ KING TV's "New Day Northwest" (NBC Seattle)  /  April 24, 2014


"Kiss the Sky! The Orca Freedom Concert" / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News at 5pm (NBC Seattle)  /  April 22, 2014


"Kiss the Sky! The Orca Freedom Concert" / KING 5 News at 6:30pm (NBC Seattle)  /  April 22, 2014

"Kiss the Sky! The Orca Freedom Concert" / KING 5 News at 10pm (NBC Seattle)  /  April 22, 2014

"Kiss the Sky! The Orca Freedom Concert" / KING 5 News at 11pm (NBC Seattle)  /  April 22, 2014

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Captain/Naturalist Michael Colahan of Island Adventures Whale Watching and Picture Pangea captured this great image of the "resident" male gray whale researchers dub #53, or "Little Patch," the first of about a dozen grays that come to the waters off Everett, WA every year to feed on ghost shrimp. It's an all-you-can-eat shrimp buffet and Little Patch knows a good thing when he sees it - he's been spotted here 23 years in a row. 

Sighting of "Little Patch" Signals Return of Gray Whales Near Everett  /  Seattle Times  / Mar 4, 2014

"Resident" Gray Whales Return to Puget Sound / Manuel Valdez, Associated Press / Mar 4, 2014


Joan Jett Joins Heart to Headline Seattle Concert in Support of Orca Research and Advocacy / Co-Sponsored by Pacific Whale Watch Association / ABC News Radio / Feb 28, 2014

On the Street: Tour Fee to Aid Wildlife Study (Eagle Wing Tours) / Andrew Duffy, Victoria Times Colonist / Feb 28, 2014

Heart, Joan Jett headline Earth Day concert at EMP / Craig Sailor, Staff Writer, Tacoma News Tribune / Feb 25, 2014

US Navy Not to Blame in Death of Southern Resident Orca L112 - NOAA Report Says Washington Orca Killed by Blow to Head, Source Unknown / Associated Press / Feb 25, 2014

Navy Looks To Renew Permits For Bombing And Sonar Exercises In The Northwest / Ashley Ahearn, KUOW (National Public Radio, Seattle  /  Feb 21, 2014

Orcas Won’t Be On Display At The Sochi Olympics After All / Megan Paolone, BuzzFeed  /  Feb 6, 2014

Sochi Olympics Set to Feature Killer Whales / Lori Cuthbert, Discovery News  /  Feb 6, 2014

Heart to Raise Money for Orcas at Earth Day Event  / Amanda Just, Ecorazzi  / Jan 29, 2014

Sochi Winter Olympics Captures Wild Orcas  / Marisa Corley, The Guardian (UK)  / Jan 27, 2014

Recently Captured Orcas to be Displayed at Sochi Olympics? Pacific Whale Watch Association, OrcaLab Join Global Protest  / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / Jan 24, 2014

Feds Want Endangered Status for Captive Orca Lolita — It’s Not Clear How or if Protection Under the Endangered Species Act Will Affect the Decades-Long Campaign to Have the Former Member of L-Pod, Captured in Penn Cove in 1970, Returned to Washington Waters  / Craig Welch, Seattle Times  / Jan 24, 2014

Live-Fire Exercise Around Endangered Orcas  / Stacy Ross, CHEK News  /  Jan 22, 2014

Whale Watch Capt Upset by NAS Whidbey Live Ammunition Training Near Endangered Orcas  / Sharon Kivisto, Editor, San Juan Islander  / Jan 22, 2014

Satellite Tag on Puget Sound Orca (L87) Yielding Exciting Winter Migration Data, Researchers Say  / The Associated Press / Jan 6, 2014

CNN TravelThis isn't SeaWorld - This is Their World: Whale Watching in the San Juan Islands Picked as Part pf CNN's "50 States, 50 Spots for 2014" List / Katia Hetter, CNN Travel / Jan 2, 2014

Surprise Surge in Orcas and Humpback Whales in Island Waters / Jeff Bell, Victoria Times Colonist, Vancouver Sun and The Province / Dec 20, 2013

NORTH FOR THE WINTER! Scientists Uncover More Clues in a Whale of a Mystery / Mark Hume, The Globe and Mail  / Dec 18, 2013

Willie Nelson, Rock Group Heart Cancel SeaWorld Concerts  / Associated Press  / Dec 12, 2013

Heart Cancels SeaWorld Show  / Huffington Post and Heartlinker  / Dec 12, 2013

NO FISH, NO BLACKFISH: Salmon Recovery Necessary to Aid Endangered Resident Orcas  / Drew Schmidt and Michael Harris, Pacific Whale Watch Association, for The Bellingham Herald  / Dec 5, 2013

Seals Looking for Love in B.C. Waters May End Up Lunch for Transient Killer Whales: Study  / Dene Moore, The Canadian Press  / Dec 3, 2013

Humpback Whales Making Close Approaches to Boats in B.C.  / Pierrot Durand, The French Tribune  / Nov 29, 2013

Rise in Humpback "Mugging" in British Columbia, Canada  / Justin Sorkin, Science News Australia  / Nov 29, 2013

                              Spectacular Video from Jeanne Hyde Aboard The Peregrine:

Capt. Jim Maya on CBC Radio
"On the Island"
Nov 27, 2013

An "Epic" Humpback Encounter
in the Northwest
  / Maya's Westside Whale Watch Charters and San Juan
Island Whale & Wildlife Tours Have
Spectacular Day With Curious
Humpback Whale  / Jake Ellison,
Seattle Post-Intelligencer  /
Nov 25, 2013
(Also see "SIGHTINGS") 

DSC 9144"Hugging" Better Way to Describe Humpback Whale Encounters in Salish Sea  / Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun / Nov 28, 2013

Curious Humpback Whale Gets Incredibly Close to Boat Near Vancouver Island, Becomes a YouTube Star  / Nadine Kalinauskas, Yahoo! News / Nov 28, 2013

"It was a Gift" - Humpback Encounter Stuns Whale-Watchers in B.C.: Incredible Whale Encounter Caught on Camera  / CTV News / Nov 27, 2013

Humpback Whale Delights Whale Watchers With Up-Close-and-Personal Encounter  / Amy Judd, Global News  / Nov 27, 2013

Humpback Whale Encounter In Haro Strait Simply Extraordinary 
The Huffington Post  / Nov 27, 2013

Curious Humpback Encounter Dazzles Whale Watchers: Jeanne Hyde Shot the Encounter While Whale Watching in Haro Strait  / CBC News / Nov 27, 2013

Humpback "Muggings" Being Reported on B.C. Coast: Whale-Watching Vessels are Receiving Unusually Close Encounters by Curious Juveniles in the Salish Sea  / Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun  /  Nov 27, 2013

An "Epic" Humpback Encounter in the Northwest / Jake Ellison, Seattle Post-Intelligencer / Nov 25, 2013

Environment Northwest: Tidal Energy Sparks Concern Over Impact on Marine Life  / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) / Nov 18, 2013  /  Transcript

Watch Whales' Journey to their Winter Homes / Mike Benbow, Special to The Everett Herald / Nov 9, 2013

Rare Sightings! 

Northern Resident Orcas Make Extremely Rare Visit to Sound and Straits / Report and Photos by Capt. Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales Whale Watchingand Sandi Murdoch aboard Peregrine, Maya's Westside Whale Watch Charters / Nov 8, 2013 (also see "SIGHTINGS")

Rare Sighting of 1,000 Dolphins Off the Gulf Islands / Paula Baker, Global News / Nov 3, 2013

Second Sighting of Endangered North Pacific Right Whale in B.C. Waters in 62 Years: Researchers "Astonished" After Whale Spotted Off the Entrance to Juan de Fuca Strait Near Victoria  / Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun /  Oct 31, 2013

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J8 - Southern Resident Matriarch - Passes Away

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J8 seen on May 7th. Photo: Naturalist Tasli Shaw, Steveston Seabreeze Adventures.

October 31, 2013 - Pacific Whale Watch Association crews confirm the sad news from The Center for Whale Research: the 80-year-old female resident orca J8, also known as Speiden, is missing and presumed dead. The Southern Resident Community appears to have lost its second-oldest member. 

"J8 was truly like a grandmother to all of us," said Michael Harris, Executive Director of PWWA. "She lived a long and eventful life, and I'm sure passed peacefully with generations of family around her. We'll miss her a lot."

Environment Northwest Orca from San Juans Missing, Feared Dead / Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) / Oct 31, 2013

Fight Rages Over Wild Orca Decline: Too Many Boats, or Not Enough Salmon?  / David Kirby, Author of "Death at SeaWorld," for 
Oct 15, 2013

Whale-Watchers Get a Treat as Orcas Cruise Near Ogden Point in Victoria / Jeff Bell, Victoria Times Colonist  / Sept 6, 2013

Two Dozen Things We Love About This Place: A Whale of a Time at Sea / Amy Smart, Victoria Times Colonist  / Aug 21, 2013  

Helping the Humpback's Comeback  / Whale tourism added an estimated $2 billion to the global economy last year, a number that is expected to increase by 10% each year. / Rebecca Bluitt, CNN  /  Aug 13, 2013

Disease Killing Pacific Herring Threatens Salmon, Scientist Warns  / Mark Hume, The Globe and Mail  / Aug 13, 2013

BC an Orca Oasis - Victoria Waters Hot Spot for Whale Watching / Mark Stachiew, Postmedia News / Aug 12, 2013

Year-Old Orca Baby Alive and Doing Quite Well / Chris Dunagan, Kitsap Sun  / July 25, 2013 

Feds Earmark Money to Protect Orcas / John White, Q13 FOX News (FOX Seattle) / July 18, 2013  

Rescues / Capsized Kayakers Rescued by Whale-Watch Boat / Norris Palmer, San Juan Islander / June 13, 2013

Humpback Whales Flocking to Puget Sound, Straits / Seattle Post-Intelligencer / June 12, 2013

Humpback Whales are Big Hits in Juan de Fuca Strait Right Now / Judith Lavoie, Vancouver Sun / June 12. 2013

Whale-Watchers Report Huge Spike in Local Humpback Sightings / KOMO 4 News (ABC Seattle) / June 12, 2013

Humpbacks Returning to Puget Sound in Big Numbers / Q13 FOX News (FOX Seattle) / June 11, 2013

Prince of Whales Boat Ocean Magic Comes to the Rescue of Family Aboard Burning Boat  /  Dan Fumano, The Province / June 8, 2013
PWWA Media Room  


PWWA Media Room


PWWA whales onlyThe Pacific Whale Watch AssociationPWWA YellowPWWA Yellow
consists of 29 dedicated whale watching and ecotourism businesses committed to research, education, and responsible wildlife viewing. Member companies depart from 18 different ports in Washington State and British Columbia, taking about a half-million passengers out every year, creating critical constituencies for conservation.

Each one of our member operators provides a unique experience.
Whether it’s a fast, exciting Zodiac-style boat, or the comfort of a larger family-friendly vessel, or maybe something in-between, there is a PWWA member company that’s just right for you!

All members of the PWWA have a great respect and admiration for the Pacific Northwest and its magnificent wildlife, regarding them as family. Many of our captains and naturalists are marine scientists and educators, and we consider our boats to be classrooms on the water.  We're also committed to direct conservation, using our extraordinary access to these sensitive populations of marine mammals to help protect them for generations to come.

POW orca
Pacific Whale Watch Association

Anacortes Kayak Tours - Anacortes, WA
BC Whale Tours - Victoria, BC
Captain Carli's Whale Watching - Friday Harbor, WA
Deer Harbor Charters - Deer Harbor, WA
Eagle Wing Tours - Victoria, BC
Five Star Whale Watching - Victoria, BC
Island Adventures - Everett, Anacortes and Port Angeles, WA
Island Mariner Whale Watching Cruises - Bellingham, WA
Maya's Legacy Whale Watching - Friday Harbor, WA
Mystic Sea Charters - Anacortes and Langley, WA
Ocean EcoVentures - Cowichan Bay, BC
Orca Spirit Adventures Group - Victoria, BC
Orcas Island Eclipse Charters - Orcas, WA
Outer Island Expeditions - Eastsound, WA
Prince of Whales Whale Watching - Vancouver and Victoria, BC
Puget Sound Express - Port Townsend and Seattle/Edmonds, WA
San Juan Cruises - Bellingham, WA
San Juan Excursions - Friday Harbor, WA
San Juan Island Outfitters - Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor, WA
San Juan Island Whale & Wildlife Tours - Friday Harbor, WA

San Juan Safaris - Friday Harbor, WA
Sidney Whale Watching - Sidney, BC
Springtide Charters - Victoria, BC
Steveston EcoTours - Steveston, BC
Steveston Seabreeze Adventures - Steveston, BC
Vancouver Whale Watch - Steveston, BC
Victoria Clipper - Seattle, WA and Victoria, BC
Western Prince Whale Watching - Friday Harbor, WA
Wild Whales Vancouver - Vancouver, BC

PWWA Ports:

Anacortes, WA
Bellingham, WA
Cowichan Bay, BC
Deer Harbor, WA
Eastsound, WA
Edmonds, WA
Everett, WA
Friday Harbor, WA
Orcas, WA
Port Angeles, WA
Port Townsend, WA
Roche Harbor, WA
Seattle, WA
Sidney, BC
Snug Harbor, WA
Steveston, BC
Vancouver, BC
Victoria, BC


PWWA whales only


In this extremely rare footage captured on June 17, 2013, whale watchers aboard a Prince of Whales boat out of Victoria, BC chance upon a pod of transient killer whales as these master predators plan and execute a brilliant hunt of what appears to be a large seal or Steller sea lion. The orcas used a technique that most researchers we know say they've never seen - "bubble feeding," where a group of whales cooperatively send a burst of bubbles toward the surface, stunning the prey above and then snatching them up. Humpbacks of course do this. Resident orcas use the technique to catch salmon or herring. These transients appeared to be using it to catch a large pinniped. We weren't able to get to the stern fast enough to document this, but two passengers described witnessing a circular upswell looking "like a big jacuzzi." A minute or two later, we saw a bloody carcass float up off our starboard side, the orcas spending the next several minutes feeding on the carcass, pushing large pieces to the youngest member of the group. It was an amazing experience for everyone on board, expertly articulated by Prince of Whales First Mate and marine scientist Mika Ogilvie. And even with a westerly heading our way and a little bit of chop in the middle of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Captain Jeff Smith managed to operate Ocean Magic adeptly, safely and with exceptional care around the wildlife, keeping the boat well outside of 100 meters, shut down most of the time, bow turned windward. And with the exception of some oohs and ahs aboard the board, we were quiet eavesdroppers. The whales gave us just one discerning look - the spyhop you see in the video - but then went about their spectacular business.

Vignettes photographed and edited by PWWA Executive Director
and Baby Wild Films Principal Creative Michael Harris.


"Baby Wild: Orcas Song" by Nancy Wilson
Filmed on the beach in front of The Center for Whale Research in the summer of 1999.  

KISS Logo transp BLK


Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (top); Graham Nash.

KISS THE SKY logo box sm

Victoria / Vancouver Island, BC

BC Whale Tours - Victoria

Eagle Wing Tours - Victoria

Five Star Whale Watching - Victoria

Ocean Ecoventures - Cowichan Bay

Prince of Whales - Victoria

Orca Spirit Adventures Group - Victoria

Sidney Whale Watching - Sidney

Springtide Charters - Victoria

Victoria Clipper - Victoria

San Juan Island, WA

Capt. Carli's Whale Watching - Friday Harbor

Maya's Legacy Whale Watching -  Snug Harbor and Friday Harbor

San Juan Excursions - Friday Harbor

San Juan Island Whale & Wildlife Tours -
Friday Harbor

San Juan Island Outfitters - Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor

San Juan Safaris - Friday Harbor

Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours - Friday Harbor

Vancouver, BC

Prince of Whales Whale Watching - Vancouver

Steveston EcoTours - Steveston

Steveston Seabreeze Adventures - Steveston

Vancouver Whale Watch - Steveston

Wild Whales Vancouver - Vancouver


Deer Harbor Charters - Deer Harbor

Orcas Island Eclipse Charters - Orcas

Outer Island Expeditions - Eastsound



Anacortes Kayak Tours - Anacortes

Island Adventures - Anacortes

Mystic Sea Charters - Anacortes and Langley


Island Adventures - Everett and Port Angeles

Island Mariner Cruises - Bellingham

Puget Sound Express - Port Townsend and Seattle/Edmonds

San Juan Cruises - Bellingham

Victoria Clipper - Seattle




Member Owners: Megan and Erik Schorr / Address: Anacortes Kayak Tours, 2201 Skyline Way, Suite 203, Anacortes, WA  98221 / Toll-Free: (800) 992-1801

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Anacortes Kayak Tours - Anacortes, WA

Anacortes Kayak Tours offers several choices of sea kayaking adventures. With both families, and seasoned travelers in mind, we have created a variety of sea kayak tours to match your needs, budget, and available time. Whether you are looking for a kayaking day trip, a family kayak tour, or a longer multi day sea kayaking expedition, Anacortes is a great place to start. No kayaking experience necessary! Join us on a sea kayaking trip and enjoy an incredible day as we search for porpoise, seals, eagles, orcas, and much more! AKT has trips that depart from both sides of the San Juan Island ferry route. There are a variety of choices that depart from convenient Anacortes/Fidalgo Island, as well as Friday Harbor/San Juan Island, where all of our kayak tours depart from the San Juan County Park on the scenic west side of San Juan Island, summer home to our famous Southern Resident orcas. Although all of our tours enjoy whale encounters throughout the summer months, these trips have a statistical advantage over any other launch site (including any other place on San Juan Island).

BC Whale Tours

Member Owner: Capt. Harold Benischek / Address: 1234 Wharf Street / Victoria, BC  V8W 2Y9 Canada / Local: (250) 590 5030

orca VIDEO

BC Whale Tours - Victoria, BC

The Victoria coast is abundant with whales, if you know where to look. Knowing where to look is a specialty of BC Whale Tours. Come enjoy a spectacular whale watching extravaganza from Captain Harold Benischek’s intimate 12-passenger vessel. Our luxury zodiac-style yacht is fast and long range, which guarantees orca sightings. Captain Harold is a certified marine naturalist and a seasoned mariner with over 30,000 hours accredited to him and a vast knowledge of the local waters, marine life, and coastal history. His animated spirit and passion towards the local marine wildlife, along with his many travel adventures, will ensure an enriched whale watching experience. BC Whale Tours has some of the most interesting skippers in the industry. You might go out with Captain Jim Zakreski, an internationally acclaimed marine biologist and expert in orca behavior and conservation who, when he’s not driving boats around the local waters of Vancouver Island, explores one of the most extreme places on Earth – Antarctica. In the wheelhouse may be Captain Mike Hann, a marine wildlife naturalist, eco-adventure guide and dive instructor who also “heads south” in the off-season, playing an integral role in research expeditions photographing and tagging whales in the waters of Antarctica. Also driving our boats is Victoria born and raised Captain Gordon Blunt, a commercial diver and expert sailor and sea cadet instructor, and Captain Rod King, a certified marine mammal naturalist, founding member of the West Coast Anti-Whaling Society and former Vice President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association. Our Sales and Operations Manager is Captain Tom Mitchell, an internationally qualified and experienced marine biologist who has worked throughout Australia and Vancouver Island with various research and environmental conservation groups. Most recently, Tom has been working on the Great Barrier Reef via Port Douglas, Far North Queensland, educating and inspiring visitors about the beauty and complexity of the reef systems. As a Dive Master, he has great first-hand experience and knowledge of marine ecosystems through his countless interactions with the marine wildlife in their natural environment. His passion for the conservation of the marine world is both engaging and contagious as he inspires all of those on board. At BC Whale Tours, your enjoyment and safety is both paramount to us. Our boat design ensures a safe ride, so you can have peace of mind while enjoying the marvels of sea.


Member Owner: Capt. Bill Carli / Address: Spring Street Landing, Slip 8 / P.O. Box 2569 / Friday Harbor, WA 98250 / United States / (360) 378-0302

orca VIDEO

Captain Carli's Whale Watching - Friday Harbor, WA 

Walk off the Washington State Ferry in Friday Harbor and two minutes later you are onboard Soulmate, Captain Carli's Whale Watching boat. Take a 3-4-hour trip into the heart of San Juan Islands orca territory. You'll have the opportunity to see the resident orcas, also known as killer whales, minke whales, harbor porpoises, California sea lions, harbor seals, bald eagles and much, much, more. Capt. Bill Carli has been boating in the waters of the San Juan Islands for over 28 years. Like many visitors who come to the San Juans for a vacation and end up staying here, he and his wife Christy both realizing that this was going to become their home the very first time the ferry pulled into Friday Harbor. Twenty-three years later they are still here. The Island is their home, and they truly enjoy sharing its wonders with others. For over 10 years they owned and operated the Argyle House Bed & Breakfast. During that time they greeted over 20,000 B&B guests. They have since sold the B&B, but the same joy and enthusiasm of sharing this paradise carries over to their Whale Watching/Marine Eco-tourism excursions. Their customers sure seem to think so!

Deer Harbor FX

Member Owner: Tom Averna / Address: PO Box 303, Deer Harbor, WA  98243 United States / Toll Free: (800) 544-5758  Local: (360) 376-5989  Fax: (360) 376-5815


Deer Harbor Charters - Deer Harbor, WA

Deer Harbor Charters celebrates its third decade of whale watching and marine wildlife tours in the San Juan Islands. We are exclusively the only whale and wildlife tour company leaving from Rosario and Deer Harbor Marina on Orcas Island. The U.S.C.G. certified Squito is the first whale watch boat in the San Juan Islands, with comfortable inside seating as well as outside viewing decks that make it a great all-weather boat. The Pelagic is a 36′ vessel that is licensed for 20 passengers. Pelagic was built in Maine in 2000 and is a lobster boat design, used by commercial operators for over 75 years! Stable, fast and roomy, Pelagic is equipped with a modern, cleaner burning diesel meeting the latest EPA standards. Bring the family and join us for a cruise through the San Juan Islands. Our skilled and experienced naturalists give lessons on marine wildlife and local history. Each trip has on board a trained professional naturalist who maintains an educational, informative dialogue regarding the natural history, distribution and habits of the whales and other wildlife. We’ll cruise through protected waters in search of orcas and minke whales, along the way also looking for bald eagles, seals and porpoises. Bird watchers will delight in the numerous types of seabirds we will encounter. Well-known local captain and naturalist Tom Averna established and operated Deer Harbor Charters in 1988, making it one of the longest operating whale watching businesses in the San Juan Islands. Tom has a background in marine science and has been a professional captain for 35 years. He also was the first elected President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association.

Eagle Wing FX

Member Owner: Brett Soberg / Address: Fisherman's Wharf (near Pier #2) 12 Erie St. Victoria, BC  V8V 4X5 Canada / Local: (250) 384-8008

Eagle Wing Tours - Victoria, BC

Let us introduce you to our friends that live in the Salish Sea. At Eagle Wing Tours we focus on delivering every customer into the super, natural realm of the orca, gray whales, humpback whales, minke whales, seals, sea lions, diverse selection of marine birds... and much, much more! Eagle Wing Whale Watching offers excellent value and guaranteed whale sightings. We are amongst the safest and most thrilling eco-friendly, marine adventure and killer whale watching companies in Victoria. During the tour, view a variety of diving and shore birds, seals, sea lions, porpoise and whales. Extras include on-board washrooms, hydrophones, gloves, hats, sunscreen, sunglasses and a perfect safety record. This locally owned and operated family business for over 13 years offers you a chance to bear witness to one of nature's most majestic and awe inspiring creatures, the orca, in one of the most impressive settings on earth, the Pacific Northwest. Eagle Wing's mission is to work with purpose and passion on behalf of all wildlife, encouraging our guests to become more involved in the education and conservation of a sustainable, healthy, and more balanced marine eco-system. Come and join us on a comprehensive educational and entertaining journey... an Eagle Wing adventure at sea! "Inspiring the conservation of our marine environment, with a thrill!"

Five Star FX

Member Owner: Andrew Lees / 645 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC  V8W 1A6 Canada / Local: (250) 388-7223


Five Star Whale Watching - Victoria, BC

In 1985, Five Star Charters Ltd. was one of the three founding companies of whale watching out of Victoria, B.C. Five Star Charters Ltd. played an integral part in making Victoria, BC a world-famous destination for travelers wishing to see killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the wild. We operate two high-speed Expedition Catamarans. These are purpose-built for whale watching and, therefore, are great viewing platforms. Up to 40 passengers on each vessel have seating available in the comfort of a covered cabin, while still having the option to enjoy the upper and outer viewing decks at any time. We call ourselves "Victoria's Catamaran Whale Watching Company" as many people are drawn to the open layout and stability of our vessels. Our high-speed Expedition Catamarans are fast enough to maximize range and the percentage chance of sightings and to offer an exhilarating ride; both have lots of outdoor seating and the option of "wind-in-your-face adventure." These vessels also provide (a) A viewing area on the bow so that passengers can look down into the water at porpoise and sea lions; (b) The ability for passengers to move around the vessel for more comfort, better visibility and optimum photography; (c) An "at the rail of the boat" viewing position is available for each and every passenger on board; (d) Upper decks for better viewing angles, especially as viewing regulations have changed; (e) Easily accessible washrooms; and (f) The option of Indoor Seating (still with great visibility through large picture windows). We love what we do and it shows. Our experienced and well-trained staff will ensure your voyage is fun, educational and comfortable. Plus, Five Star often features legendary orca tracker Ron Bates as an on-board naturalist. Join us for Salish Sea adventures and lifelong memories! We're also proud members of the Pacific Whale Watch Association and participants in the "1% for the Planet" carbon-neutral project, an alliance of businesses that believe in providing financial support to environmental initiatives. These measures deepen our commitment to supporting conservation of wild places. 1% of our annual gross revenue is donated to local environmental causes to help save the whales!

Island AdventuresFX


Member Owners: Shane and Jennifer Aggergaard / Address: Gift Shop and Office, 1801 Commercial Avenue, Anacortes, WA  98221 United States / Local: (360) 293-2428

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Island Adventures Whale Watching - Anacortes, Port Angeles and Everett, WA

There's nothing quite like being aboard the Island Explorer 3. At 101 feet long with an upper viewing deck and the largest bow pulpit in the industry, the Island Explorer 3 has more than enough space for everyone to have a front row spot at the rail. Both the upper and lower deck are fully walkaround, which allows effortless movement around the boat and great viewing. Because of our very high success rate, Island Adventures was one of the first and only companies to guarantee whale sightings on every tour - but it’s our team of highly qualified crew that will make your trip unforgettable! We boast over 100 years of combined experience in the islands, over 6,000 wildlife tours conducted, and have led excursions for over 220,000 satisfied customers. The San Juan Islands provide one of the best whale watching opportunities anywhere in the world, offering calm waters and a huge variety of wildlife which includes our three pods of resident orcas. Go gray whale watching out of Everett, WA! Island Adventures also runs a popular gray whale watch every spring from the Everett Marina, just a half-hour north of Seattle, with a nearly 100% success rate finding whales. Island Adventures also operates now out of Port Angeles!  It's the best place on the U.S. side to catch up with humpback whales. As an active member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association since 1996, Island Adventures is also a leader in responsible wildlife viewing, helping to create guidelines still used today to protect our local orcas. The company was founded and is locally owned and operated by Shane Aggergaard, who has served three terms as PWWA's President and two terms as its Vice President. Island Adventures Whale Watching is longtime supporters of The Center for Whale Research, donating a portion of all ticket sales to salmon enhancement and whale research.

Island Mariner FX

Member Owner: Capt. Terry Buzzard / Address: 2621 South Harbor Loop, Bellingham, WA  98225 United States / Toll Free: (877) 734-8866  Local: (360) 734-8866  Fax: (360) 734-8867

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Island Mariner Cruises - Bellingham, WA

Island Mariner and USCG-licensed captain/owner Terry Buzzard are celebrating 51 safe years in business. Capt. Terry is a true pioneer in the ecotourism industry, beginning whale watching in the San Juan Islands in 1980 and one of only four remaining founding members of the Pacific Whale Watch Association – and he still loves what he does! Take time to view the San Juan Islands up close as you cruise from Bellingham Bay to see whales and other marine life. You can relax and enjoy your nature cruise aboard the Island Caper, a comfortable 110' boat with modern amenities allowing you to sit and visit at a table for eating snacks, or stand up and walk around, inside or outside, while onboard. With 386 feet of outside railing space, you'll never feel crowded. You will see the breathtaking island scenery, hear local folk lore and learn interesting facts from an onboard naturalist, who can also answer questions about the wild life you may encounter such as orcas, minke whales, porpoises, seals, sea lions, bald eagles and a variety of sea birds. Island Mariner offers free binocular usage, free coffee and tea, free parking, and no fuel surcharge. We make our large library of resource books available to you throughout your cruise. Our excellent and reasonably priced lunch counter offers many selections, meaning you don't have to worry about bringing food with you. (But you can if you want.) Join us for a memorable boat cruise and find out why the San Juan Islands scenery and orcas are considered to be Pacific Northwest treasures. Plus, no whale watch boat has "Rusty," Chief Navigator. Rusty is a five-year-old Airedale terrier and he loves everybody. If he is onboard, he will be in the pilot house. Stop by and see him. He loves to make new friends!


Member Owners: Spencer & Rachel Domico / Address: PO Box 1456, Friday Harbor, WA  98250 United States / Local: (360) 378-3744

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Legacy Charters - Friday Harbor, WA 

Whether you are looking for an unforgettable whale watch tour, a quality family adventure, or an epic fishing excursion, Legacy Charters is here to make it happen. Offering whale watching and fishing charters for groups of six or less assures the most authentic and personalized charters available. The San Juan Islands are the best place in the world to view orcas in the wild and our vessels depart from the middle of it all, Snug Harbor, on the west side of San Juan Island. The best months to view orca are from April though September, but a wide variety of other species thrive here as well. In addition to orca, humpback, gray and minke whales, porpoise, sea lions, a diverse variety of sea birds, eagles and seals call the San Juan Islands home. Tours depart daily, year round! There are a number of reasons to choose Legacy Charters for your excursion. Our dedicated captains are part of both professional and private networks, constantly receiving and sharing information about local wildlife. When whales are in the area, we know and will get you there! As members of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, we promote responsible wildlife viewing and salmon recovery.

Maya FX

Member Owner: Capt. Jim Maya / Address: Snug Harbor Marina, 1995 Mitchell Bay Rd., Friday Harbor, WA  98250 United States / Local: (360) 378-7996

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Maya's Westside Whale Charters - Snug Harbor, WA 

Let Captain Jim Maya (the bold, safe, caring, skilled, humorous, handsome, courageous, and very modest retired teacher) be your host for one of the most unique and intimate whale watching and wildlife viewing experiences the San Juan Islands has to offer. A lifelong naturalist, Captain Jim has been taking folks out to see orcas on the waters of the San Juans since 1988. Whale watching cruise tours operate out of beautiful Snug Harbor at the end of Mitchell Bay Road, on the northwest side of San Juan Island. There are often orcas within sight of the dock at Snug Harbor Marina. Captain Jim Maya and his wife Carolee are both retired school teachers and live three minutes from the Snug Harbor Resort dock, overlooking Haro Strait. San Juan Island's West Side is where the local orcas are seen most often between May and October, so passengers with Maya's Charters get to see orcas sooner and get to see many other varieties of wildlife. Maya's offer charters seven days a week on their 2007 30-foot Glacier Bay Catamaran, the Peregrine. The Peregrine is an extremely stable and safe craft, with room for seven passengers inside the heated cabin, with a private head (toilet) and wrap-around windows. With outdoor seating on the bow and aft, everyone always has a great view of the whales. Experienced photographers love the Peregrine's roof hatches. Reservations are a must.

Mystic Sea FX

Member Owner: Monte Hughes / Address: Cap Sante Marina, Dock A, 819 Commercial Avenue, Anacortes, WA  98221 United States / Toll Free: (800) 308-9387  Local: (800) 308-9387

orca VIDEO

Mystic Sea Charters - Anacortes and Langley, WA

Join us for a whale of an adventure! Mysterious in mist or sparkling in sunshine, the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands are always changing and always beautiful. Come aboard the classic 100-foot Mystic Sea for our guaranteed whale watch and wildlife cruise and enjoy a fun and relaxing day on the water. Learn about the history, lore, and hidden nooks of this unique area from our friendly and knowledgeable crew, and make memories for a lifetime! We explore 80-100 miles on our cruises and have a spectacular array of wildlife that migrate into these calm waters at various times and stages throughout the year; everything from bald eagles and puffins, to Pacific white-sided dolphins, Dall's porpoise and Stellar sea lions. We have several different types of whales in addition to the 82 Southern Resident orcas, including minkes, humpbacks, gray whales, and transient orcas... the true "killer whale"! Choose your destination... whether it's winding your way up the Guemes Channel or through the pristine beauty and serenity of the San Juan Island paradise or cruising to the awesome splendor of Deception Pass with its rock-hewn cliffs and rushing, swirling, eddies. We'll depart from historic Anacortes, Washington with its quaint shops, delightful lodging, and unique ambiance. A cruise you'll remember for a lifetime... whale watching, lighthouse cruises, birdwatching, and more. As we value quality over quantity, we limit the number of people on our daily cruises to 60 instead of filling the boat to maximum capacity (77 people); this allows for more space so everyone can be comfortable while cruising through the San Juan Islands. The resident orcas of J-, K- and L-Pods can move up to 100 miles in a day, so some days they are only 20 minutes away from Anacortes, and other days they can be three hours away - near Victoria or Point Roberts. If we need to go the extra mile or take the extra hour to get you whales, we will. We don’t make claims to be number one – we just find you whales and make sure you have fun doing it!

Ocean Ecoventures FX

Member Owner: Simon Pidock / Address: 1721 Cowichan Bay Road, Cowichan Bay, BC  V9L 2M1 Canada / Local: (250) 748-3800
Toll-Free: (866) 748-5333


Ocean EcoVentures - Cowichan Bay, BC 

Are you ready for awe-inspiring whale watching memories from Vancouver Island? Ocean EcoVentures' quality whale watching excursions depart daily from the seaside village of Cowichan Bay. Our whale watching tours focus on the Southern Resident orcas, transient orcas, humpback whales, gray whales and minke whales. You will also encounter sea lions, bald eagles, harbor seals, Dall's and harbor porpoises as well as a myriad of marine birds on your whale watching eco tour. A small, owner-operated family business, Ocean EcoVentures is committed to providing you with an intimate and informative whale watching tour. Small tour groups ensure personalized service, while your Transport Canada-certified captain provides a safe and knowledgeable tour of the scenic Canadian Gulf Islands and U.S. San Juan Islands. Whales are our passion! We love sharing Vancouver Island's marine ecosystem and all that inhabits it. We are dedicated to responsible and ethical whale watching and wildlife viewing. We consider our vessel a floating classroom. Our captains/naturalists have a vast amount of knowledge of Vancouver Island's and the Gulf Islands' local natural history. As well as the most up-to-date science regarding our local orcas, humpback whales, gray whales and the rest of marine ecosystem. The more we learn about our local ecosystem, the harder we’ll work to protect it.

Orca Spirit FX

Member Owner: John Douglas / Address: Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel (marina level), 146 Kingston St., Victoria, BC  V8V 1V4 Canada / Local: (250) 383-8411

orca VIDEO

Orca Spirit Adventures Group - Victoria, BC 

Orca Spirit offers you Victoria’s original and authentic whale watching experience. You’ll tour the waters around Vancouver Island - which boast some of the most spectacular marine wildlife on the planet - with a certified marine naturalist. You can have the opportunity to view orcas, humpbacks, gray and minke whales, porpoises, seals, sea lions, and bald eagles in their natural environment, and perhaps even listen to whale vocalizations as many of our boats are outfitted with hydrophones. We’ll also introduce you to our region’s extraordinary species of birds, including cormorants, rhinoceros auklets, common murre, pigeon guillemot, tufted puffins, great blue herons, and black oyster catchers. We at Orca Spirit Adventures Ltd. know just how lucky we are, and we take the responsibility that goes with our chosen careers very seriously: To provide responsible and ethical wildlife viewing; to promote and support conservation and stewardship of the marine environment; to educate as well as entertain. Everyday we are grateful to be living in such a wonderful city, near so many amazing marine mammals and with incredible ocean vistas, mountains, islands and forests. You won’t find a group of people who appreciate and respect Vancouver Island’s marine wildlife more than the crew at Orca Sprit Adventures, which is why we are a proud proponent of the Pacific Whale Watch Association guidelines for responsible whale watching. And a portion of all whale watching adventure proceeds goes to support local marine research initiatives. We’re also a Climate-Friendly company, proud to provide carbon neutral whale watching trips and harbour cruises! We thrive not only on maintaining but improving the environmental standards on which we operate, by being a leader in the eco-tourism industry. We as an organization, now have a unique opportunity to protect this valuable resource- that is the nutrient-rich Pacific Ocean- by investing in a conservation economy through the purchase of carbon offsets. We have selected to support the Great Bear Rainforest initiative, which is focusing on protecting an area that is so crucial to the purity of our inland waterways, that filter into our coastal marine environment.

Orcas Island Eclipse Charters TRANS

Member Owners: Capt. Dan and Denise Wilk / Address: PO Box 353, Orcas, WA  98280 United States / Local: (360) 376-6566

orca VIDEO

Orcas Island Eclipse Charters - Orcas, WA

Orcas Island Eclipse Charters is one of the longest-serving and most beloved whale watch businesses in the region. It’s also one of the most convenient in the San Juans – leave the car behind, walk onto the Washington State ferry and get off at Orcas Island. It's then just a few hundred feet down the pier to the beautiful 56' Orcas Express, with a spacious, bright and airy interior and 46 comfortable contour Norwegian-made seats with an additional four jump seats for a total of 50. Inside our heated cabin, there are seats at tables for 36. The other 14 seats are open. The outside has 60 feet of open deck to walk around. With ever-changing cycles of nature, each tour is unique. You will discover the excitement of meeting whales, eagles and more in their natural habitat. An unpredictable wilderness, full of surprises, is waiting just for you. You will never forget it! And no one conducts a wildlife viewing tour quite like Capt. Dan Wilk. A USCG-licensed Master Captain, Dan was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and shares a fascinating running narrative about the unique history of the islands and all-things-wild, turning every trip into an experience of a lifetime. Dan and his wife Denise Wilk have run whale watching tours since 1991 and are founding members of the Pacific Whale Watch Association and still some of its most active, completely dedicated to providing spectacular viewing opportunities for passengers while protecting sensitive wildlife, particularly our Endangered resident orcas. Dan and Denise also have a great passion for lighthouse preservation, and run tours of these historic beacons of San Juan Islands. If you're a lighthouse aficionado, this is your boat!

Outer Islands Expeditions FX

Member Owner: Beau Brandeau / Address: 54 Hunt Rd., Eastsound, WA  98245 United States / Local: (360) 376-3711


Outer Island Expeditions - Eastsound, WA

Outer Island Expeditions offers high quality, unforgettable marine experiences in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. We offer tours starting from Orcas Island and Anacortes. Our focus is on a personal experience. Aboard our boats you’ll be able to converse with the captain, have a say in the itinerary and your interaction with wildlife viewing will be up close and personal. Outer Island Expeditions boat tours are able to incorporate many activities into one trip – whale watching, wildlife viewing, charter fishing, crabbing, kayaking, lighthouse tours, island tours and gourmet meals served on an island park. We’ll put together a day for you that you’ll never forget. Outer Island Expeditions is based on the North Shore of Orcas Island, in Brandt’s Landing Marina, near Smuggler’s Villa Resort, however we can pick up you from all the San Juan Island regions which includes Lopez Island, Shaw Island, San Juan Island, Blakely Island, Lummi Island, Anacortes, Bellingham and most anywhere else you might be in the San Juan Islands.

Prince of Whales FX

Member Owner: Alan McGillivray / Address: 812 Wharf Street, Victoria, BC  V8W 1T3 Canada / Toll-Free: (888) 383-4884  Local: (250) 383-4884 / Lobby of the Westin Bayshore Hotel, 1601 Bayshore Drive, Vancouver, BC Canada  V6G 2V4 / Toll-Free: (888) 383-4884

Prince of Whales Whale Watching - Victoria and Vancouver, BC

Victoria -- Get ready for the Adventure of a Lifetime! Whether you are a first time whale watcher or a seasoned veteran, we guarantee that you will have a blast! Our fleet of open-air, purpose built, zodiac-style vessels is Victoria’s largest. Equipped with bright yellow inflatable collars, this stable design cushions your ride and guarantees maximum buoyancy even if the sea conditions are rough. With aerodynamic aluminum hulls and reliable twin two-hundred horsepower Mercury engines, our vessels are able to cover over one hundred miles in one trip. This maximizes the distance you can travel on your tour and the amount of time you are ultimately able to spend viewing whales and other marine wildlife. Your tour will last a minimum of three hours and will include various stops at different points of interest within the protected waters of Haro Strait and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. While on scene with whales and other marine wildlife, the vessel will be positioned parallel to the animals allowing for excellent photo opportunities. All the while, you will be fully entertained and educated by the industry’s best and brightest marine adventure guides.  Vancouver -- No visit to the city of Vancouver is complete without getting out on the water and seeing the spectacular wildlife we have here. Come to the Prince of Whales office in the lobby of the Westin Bayshore Hotel (adjacent to Starbuck’s) and choose from five different wildlife viewing adventures. One of the most popular is "The Ultimate Day Tour." Escape the big city of Vancouver for a day or two and visit British Columbia’s charming capital city of Victoria, on Vancouver Island. Our 62′ covered cruiser, the Ocean Magic, takes a breathtakingly beautiful route across Georgia Strait and through the Gulf Islands on an expedition to find marine mammals, from little harbour seals to the magnificent killer whales and humpbacks that roam our waters. The whale watching tour concludes in Victoria’s Inner Harbour, where you will have time to explore the city and discover our neat shops, attractions and restaurants. Shuttle buses will depart from downtown Victoria throughout the afternoon, to deliver you up to the world famous Butchart Gardens for a couple of hours of leisurely strolling and a chance to stop and smell the roses. That evening you will re-board the Ocean Magic at The Garden’s private dock, for a two-hour sunset cruise back to beautiful Coal Harbour in Vancouver, just in time for dinner! Prince of Whales Vancouver also partners with Harbour Air and Helijet for one-of-a-kind “Whales & Fly” packages to Victoria and back. No matter what adventure you choose, we promise it’ll be an experience of a lifetime.  Owner Alan McGillivray and his partner Chris Hall pioneered whale watching out of Victoria in the early 1990s, growing their business from one marine mail boat to what is now the largest whale watch company in the region. Alan currently serves as BC President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association.

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Member Owners: Pete and Sherri Hanke / Managing Partner, Puget Sound Express Seattle/Edmonds: Michael Harris / Address: 227 Jackson Street, Port Townsend, WA  98368 United States / Local: (360) 385-5288 



Puget Sound Express - Port Townsend and Seattle/Edmonds, WA 

Puget Sound Express has been running wildlife viewing tours from beautiful Port Townsend for over three decades -- and this year offers the first-ever half-day whale watch tour out of the Seattle metropolitan area. At a top speed of 55 knots or 63 miles per hour, the 63' Chilkat Express foilcat is the fastest passenger vessel in Puget Sound.  Trips depart from the Port of Edmonds Marina, just a few minutes north of the city of Seattle, and cruises effectively above water at roughly 40mph, you're in the San Juans and in the quiet company of whales in a little over an hour.  It's an exciting new product to add to Puget Sound Express' popular Port Townsend tours aboard the Red Head and Glacier Spirit, two of the most comfortable and spacies whale watch boats in the industry. Puget Sound Express has three generations of knowledge and caring at the ready. In 1981, we started with owner Pete Hanke’s dad, Pete Sr., providing week-long sailing adventures in the Pacific Northwest aboard the 80ft schooner, Alcyone. Over the years, we moved from sailboats to powerboats, but always made sure the orca watching experience and the vessels were first rate. To that end, we still continue to operate what we feel is the best whale watching company in the Pacific Northwest. Besides Pete and Sherri, there are now the children, who are actually getting so much time under their belts that they probably do it better than the parents. Sarah takes care of reservations and helps market the Seattle/Edmonds tour, and Christopher, now with his engineering degree, is helps us keep the boats in running order and is in his fifth summer behind the wheel of the boats. Even the grandparents play active roles ashore and on the water.

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Owner Member: Drew Schmidt / Address: San Juan Cruises / Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Avenue #104, Bellingham, WA, 98225 United States / Toll Free: (800) 443-4552 Local: (360) 738-8099 Fax: (360) 738-7685

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San Juan Cruises - Bellingham, WA

Welcome aboard San Juan Cruises! Experience the beautiful San Juan Islands as you never have before. Enjoy the sights and sounds of its incredible marine wildlife on our Whale Watching Adventure cruise. Each day we look for orcas, bald eagles, seals, porpoises, sea lions, minke whales and more, as the captain tells you about the history, wildlife and geology of the area. Around noon we serve our delicious, complimentary Northwest salmon and BBQ chicken lunch, with a variety of side dishes and dessert. Yes, the delicious, freshly prepared wild salmon that our passengers have raved about for years is back! Next is our shore visit in Friday Harbor, with two hours to wander around this vibrant seaside town, filled with interesting shops, artist galleries, pubs, and the largest whale museum in the Northwest. Afterward we'll cruise back to Bellingham, while soaking in the early evening sun. No other cruise in the Northwest offers so much! San Juan Cruises is a locally owned and operated Bellingham, WA-based company that operates three beautiful, comfortable passenger vessels: the Victoria Star, Viking Star and Island Commuter. We started back in 1987 as Gray Line Cruises, operating from the Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, WA, and moved to Bellingham shortly after the Alaska Ferry Terminal opened in 1989. Since that time we have offered sightseeing tours to the San Juan Islands and Victoria, BC during the summer months, as well as private charters. San Juan Cruises is also a longtime active member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, committed to responsible, sustainable wildlife viewing in the region.

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Member Owners: Capt. Pete and Erin Ancich / Address: #2 Spring Street Landing/PO Box 2508, Friday Harbor, WA  98250 United States / Toll Free: (800) 80-WHALE  Local: (360) 378-6636

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San Juan Excursions - Friday Harbor, WA

Join Captain Pete Ancich and his naturalist wife Erin aboard the Odyssey and experience the thrill of seeing orcas, harbor seals, California and Steller sea lions, Dall's and harbor porpoise, gray and minke whales, bald eagles, cormorants, great blue herons and so much more on one of our whale watching trips. Just steps away from the ferry landing in Friday Harbor you will embark upon the Odyssey. Built in 1941, this converted U.S. Navy search and rescue vessel welcomes you aboard to experience her class and comfort as you cruise the San Juans. For over 20 years, we have been offering whale watching/wildlife cruises in the San Juan Islands. Our goal is to give our guests an enjoyable and exciting tour, while always practicing the highest level of respect for wildlife and boating safety. We want to set an example for other boaters on the water ensuring the continuation of wildlife viewing for years to come. Our captains and naturalists, who live year 'round on San Juan Island, are among the best in the business. Not only are they experts about the wildlife and natural history of the San Juan Islands, but they are entertaining and fun. They get excited every time they see wildlife. This enthusiasm is one of the main ingredients that keeps people coming back year after year to San Juan Excursions for whale watching/wildlife tours.


Member Owner: Brian Goodremont / Address: PO Box 325, Friday Harbor, WA  98250 United States / Toll-Free: (866) 810-1483  Local: (360) 378-1962

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San Juan Island Outfitters - Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor, WA 

The waterways surrounding the San Juan Islands are considered the best place in the world to observe orcas (killer whales) in the wild, and one of the best locations in the islands to access those waters is San Juan Outfitter’s exclusive marine adventure center at historic Roche Harbor. This location allows us to access all the major waterways the whales travel, and we often view whales within the Haro Strait, just a few miles from Roche Harbor. During the peak season, we see whales on 90% of our tours, in addition to a variety of marine wildlife. Our small, family-owned and locally-operated business has over 12 years of experience conducting whale watch tours in the San Juans. We specialize in providing high-quality whale watching, kayaking, and adventure tours for groups, families, and independent travelers. San Juan Outfitters is located at both Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, allowing guests safe and easy access to the water, whether you are sea kayaking or whale watching. Experienced paddlers, novices, and families alike will enjoy our sea kayaking tours, with a wide variety of tours and services available. Whale watch guests will appreciate the small group feel of our 42’ MV Sea Hawk, with both your captain and naturalist answering your questions one-on-one. Owner/operator Brian Goodremont has worked on San Juan Island in eco-tourism for 15 years as a kayak guide and boat captain, and currently serves as US President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association.


Member Owner: Capt. Hobbes Buchanan / Address: Spring Street Landing, Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA  98250 United States / Local: (360) 298-0012

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San Juan Island Whale & Wildlife Tours

Experience an orca and wildlife learning adventure of a lifetime. This is the best place to view orcas in the wild, right here in the San Juan Islands! Put your whale watching experience in the hands of a professional. Learn about these magnificent mammals and what you can do to help ensure their survival by being a steward of the Salish Sea and our oceans. Join Captain Hobbes Buchanan aboard Natsilane, a 30’ Albin fast-express cruiser, with inside and outside seating, a heated cabin, restroom, and warm courtesy jackets if needed. Orcas are what we’re looking for, and we do see them about 90% of the time May-September, and about 70% of the time in April and October. Currently 82 orca whales make up the Southern Residents, and live in three families or “pods” - the J-, K- and L-Pods. We also see harbor seals, Stellar sea lions, harbor porpoises, Dall’s porpoises, bald eagles and many wonderful sea birds. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to see minke whales, gray whales and even humpback whales! “Natsilane” offers you the comfort of a warm cabin or an exhilarating wind-in-your-hair way to experience the ecosystems and wildlife of the spectacular San Juan Islands!

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Member Owner: Brian Goodremont / 2 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA  98250 United States / Local: (360) 378-1323

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San Juan Safaris - Friday Harbor, WA

San Juan Safaris is one of the most venerable, beloved whale watch operations in the region. Founded by ecotourism pioneer Bill Wright in 1995 and now owned by Brian Goodremont, US President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, the company set the standard for responsible, non-impactful wildlife viewing, helping to establish whale watch guidelines that are still being practiced today - all while providing a truly unique, personalized experience for passengers. Our whale watching boat is the beautiful 55-foot Sea Lion, with only 40 or fewer guests aboard, there is plenty of room at the rails or in the windowed cabin for everyone to view whales and wildlife. Knowledgeable marine naturalists will inform and amuse you. Our crew loves their work and it shows. Guests tell us that the staff is attentive, warm and friendly. Spring, summer and fall find magnificent orca whales plying the waters of Haro Strait off San Juan Island, Washington. These whales are focused on finding the Pacific runs of salmon that traditionally move through these waters, mid-April to the first part of October. Enjoy San Juan Island!  It's known for orca whale watching, of course, but also sea kayaking, hiking, biking, mopeding, history, a vineyard, museums, a lavender farm, an alpaca farm, a farmers market and many fine restaurants. Consider spending at least a couple of days. San Juan Island has over 50 lodging facilities. You may also wish to visit Lopez Island and Orcas Island as a day trip from San Juan Island. We can assist you with lodging selections. No matter what you do, we guarantee that you will take home life-long memories!


Member Owners: Mike and Steve Childs / Address: 2537 Beacon Avenue, Sidney, BC  V8L 1Y3 Canada / Local: (250) 656-7599

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Sidney Whale Watching - Sidney, BC 

Sidney Whale Watching (formerly SeaQuest and Emerald Sea) is a family-run, First Nations-owned company that has been serving Sidney for over 15 years. We love what we do and we’re positive that you will have a great experience with us. We’re located in the Cannery Building at the foot of Beacon Avenue, offering three-to-three-and-a-half-hour tours departing right from Sidney's waterfront! With Sidney's moderate climate, protected harbor, calm seas, and beautiful Gulf Islands right off shore, it's no wonder why this is one of the best places in the world to depart for a whale watching adventure. Breaching, spy hopping, bow riding, tail slapping - if these terms aren't familiar to you, it probably means you haven't been on a whale watching tour. What are you waiting for? Our coastline is home to the Southern Resident J-, K- and L-Pods of killer whales, currently numbering 82 altogether. Whale sightings on the tours are guaranteed during the summer months and often occur within the first 20 minutes of leaving shore. As well as orcas, there are often sightings of minke, humpback and gray whales. Nearby islands are home to seal colonies and porpoise feeding grounds and sea lions can be seen basking on sun-warmed rocks. Don't be surprised to find a bald eagle soaring above either! Friendly and knowledgeable local guides provide a truly interactive and educational adventure.

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Member Owners: Dan and Joanne Kukat / Address: 1119 Wharf Street, Victoria, BC  V8W 1T7 Canada / Toll Free: (800) 470-3474  Local: (250) 384-4444  Fax: (250) 658-0779


SpringTide Charters - Victoria, BC 

SpringTide Charters was established in 1986 and began operations in Victoria in 1994, initially as a professional Sport Fishing Company. Dan Kukat and his 42′ Uniflite Sportfisher - the SpringTide - quickly became known as a top guiding service, with an excellently outfitted vessel and consistently great “catches.” Many wonderful times were had by avid sportsmen, corporate clients, derby organizers and families wishing to have a tremendous experience together! Whale watching became a very popular activity in the early ‘90s. Dan, with his passion and commitment to wildlife and the environment, jumped in with both feet to author wildlife viewing guidelines now used in many countries and organizations. During this time, our custom-designed vessels were built and the SpringTide fleet grew to its current 152-passenger capacity. Now, Dan’s wife Joanne and family are actively involved in all aspects of the company’s operations. Like many Pacific Whale Watch Association operators, SpringTide is also a leader in salmon restoration projects throughout the region, addressing the most urgent problem facing our Southern Resident orcas. No fish, no blackfish.


Member Owner: Capt. Bruce Livingston / Address: #301-6451 Princess Lane, Richmond, BC  V7E 6R7 Canada / Local: (604) 377-5964


Steveston EcoTours - Steveston, BC 

At Steveston EcoTours, you choose the cruise! We offer unique marine travel experiences to your choice of destinations, from our home port of Steveston, B.C. Steveston is located at the mouth of the Fraser River, in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. This Historic Fishing Village is Home Port of Canada's largest fishing fleet - over 350 fishing vessels of all gear types and sizes - yet is close to all Richmond hotels and the Vancouver International Airport. Rapid transit connects Richmond to Vancouver. Historic sites are everywhere in Steveston, including London Heritage Farm, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, and Britannia Shipyards, a National Historic Site of Canada and our place of departure aboard the Archie V. Britannia Shipyards also transforms on occasion to "Storybrooke Shipyards" for the hit TV series, Once Upon A Time. Fans will recognize many buildings and locations when visiting. Join us as we explore the islands and channels of the Fraser River Estuary, rich in bird and marine life. We've developed a network of special destinations in the Gulf Islands. This ecosystem is truly unique in Canada supporting thousands of species of marine life. Travel by boat is the best way to explore the marine routes through its countless islands and passages. Quiet trails on the islands invite discovery of rare inland ecosystems. On your Steveston EcoTour, you will visit the habitat of many marine mammals including orcas, humpback, gray and minke whales, California and Stellar sea lions, harbour seals, Dall's and harbour porpoises and Pacific white-sided dolphins, depending on the season and the tour. Upon arrival we respectfully observe these animals, in their natural environment. Steveston EcoTours is Whale Wise. We follow the Whale Watching Protocol of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) when in Canadian waters, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) when in US waters. Steveston EcoTours also supports the whale and wildlife guidelines of the Pacific Whale Watch Association. We're also proud members of the B.C. Waterfowl Society, the Georgia Strait Alliance, the Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society, the Steveston Historical Society, Valdes Island Conservancy, BC Nature - Federation of BC Naturalists, London Heritage Farm Society, Bird Studies Canada, and Tourism Richmond. Our EcoTour boat has comfortable, safe seating in a heated cabin. Its design gets us into bays and passages the big boats can't reach! You go safely ashore for beach explorations. We are fully insured, and we have the latest marine safety equipment and marine first aid training. Let us share with you our 35 years in the Gulf Islands, and a lifetime on the Coast. We'll take you to special places you'll never forget, that others never see! We know and love this area, and we are delighted to share its wonders with you!

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Member Owners: Rick Thompson, Bobby Morimoto and Lloyd Nakade / Address: 12551 No. 1 Road Building 43, Richmond, BC  V7E 1T7 Canada / Local: (604) 272-7200


Steveston Seabreeze Adventures - Steveston, BC 

Just south of Vancouver in the quaint historic fishing village of Steveston you’ll find a gateway to some of the best whale watching Vancouver has to offer! Have you ever dreamed of seeing some of the world’s largest creatures in their natural habitat? Or wondered how to get a "seal’s eye view" of the beautiful BC coast? If you’re looking for a way to spend the day on a Vancouver whale watching tour cruising the coast looking for whales, porpoises and other marine mammals and seabirds in one of the most beautiful places in the world, then you’ve come to the right place! Whether visiting the West Coast from out of town, or if you’re a local, a Vancouver whale watching tour is a great way to gain an educational, informative experience you’ll never forget! Depart from Steveston Village, three miles south of Vancouver International Airport, aboard our covered and heated scenic cruising vessels. Upper and lower unrestricted viewing decks on all vessels. Coffee service and washroom facilities on board all vessels. Relax and enjoy our three-to-five-hour tours, along the lower reaches of the Fraser River, Gulf of Georgia and the beautiful Gulf and San Juan Islands. All tours are professionally narrated by our marine biology naturalists. We boast the most scenic and pristine areas that the B.C. coastline has to offer! With the majestic orcas, humpback whales, gray whales, minke whales, Dall’s porposies, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Stellar sea lions, California sea lions, harbour seals, as well as bald eagles, falcons, puffins, pelicans and a large variety of other aquatic marine birdlife, this is truly a "Once in a Lifetime Experience." Shuttle service and lunches are available on request.

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Member Owner: Cedric Towers / Address: 210-12240 Second Avenue, Richmond, BC  V7E 3L8 Canada / Local: (604) 274-9565


Vancouver Whale Watch - Steveston, BC 

Cedric Towers of Vancouver Whale Watch is a true pioneer of whale watching in the region, starting the first company conducting regular tours from the Vancouver area 14 years ago. Located in the beautiful, historic fishing village of Steveston just 40 minutes south of downtown, Vancouver Whale Watch provides passengers with the adventure of a lifetime through excellent customer service, first class vessels, the highest possible safety standards and added value from an on-the-water education of the west coast ecosystem. We emphasize science and conservation while maintaining a fun and professional atmosphere. Join our professional naturalists for a three-to-five-hour tour, starting in Steveston and traveling through the spectacular Gulf and San Juan Islands. While we journey to find the orcas (killer whales), you’ll have the opportunity to see a diverse marine ecosystem, including bow-riding Dall’s porpoises, sea lions, bald eagles and seals. Choose between the thrill of an open zodiac or ride in comfort and style in one of our larger semi-enclosed zodiac-style vessels. Our boats are equipped with onboard washrooms and Coast Guard Standard safety equipment. Transportation and lunch available upon request. We can accommodate groups of any size. Vancouver Whale Watch is also a longtime active member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, with Cedric currently serving as its Secretary. We’re committed to the guidelines for responsible whale watching that PWWA has helped put in place in both U.S. and Canada, and a portion of our proceeds go to support local marine research programs.

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Member: Darrell Bryan, Clipper Navigation, Inc. / Jason Mihok, Staff Captain / Address: 2701 Alaskan Way, Pier 69, Seattle, WA  98121-1199 United States / Reservations: (800) 888-2535 Fax: (206) 443-2583

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Victoria Clipper - Seattle, WA and Victoria, BC

Conveniently departing from downtown Seattle, your San Juan Islands Whale Watching & Sealife Search Day Trip begins with a scenic Victoria Clipper cruise through the Puget Sound and scenic Deception Pass to an area world-renowned for its resident pods of orcas.  With the guidance of a trained onboard naturalist, you will be taken on a Whale and Sealife Search where in addition to whales you will be on the lookout for migratory birds, bald eagles, the playful Dall's porpoises, seals, otters and other area wildlife.  Also included is a stopover in the charming seaside village of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. If you're in Seattle and want to head north to Victoria to see wildlife, why not leave your car behind and get there in comfort, style and with time to spare? Take one of our high-speed passenger-only Victoria Clipper ferries for a fast trip with a host of great amenities. When you travel with us, you'll enjoy a three-hour cruise through Puget Sound and into the Strait of Juan de Fuca on your way to Victoria's Inner Harbour. Once there, hop onto any of a number of great whale watch boats in Vic, including our partner operator, Prince of Whales. Since, Clipper Navigation, Inc. has provided transportation, tours and accommodation packages for over seven million customers.


Member Owner: Captain Ivan Reiff / Address: 1 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA  98250 United States / Local: (800) 757-6722


Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours - Friday Harbor, WA 

Join us on a whale watching tour from Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, just 90 miles north of Seattle, Washington. Breathe the fresh island air, take in the scenery, and experience the magnificence of seeing orcas, minke whales, bald eagles, porpoises, seals, sea birds and sea lions in their natural environment. Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours provides quality whale watching and wildlife tours with a personal touch. Skilled local naturalists make our trips fun, informative and interactive, and our owner/captain is dedicated to making your whale watching and wildlife trip an experience of a lifetime. We'll take you deep into the territory of the Southern Resident orca, the most magnificent of Washington’s and BC’s wildlife. There is nothing quite as spectacular as the sight of a pod of orcas along the protected coastlines of the San Juan Islands. A whale watching trip from Friday Harbor is the perfect choice for any vacation in the Pacific Northwest, and being near the Seattle, Washington area makes it a great day trip as well. Captain Ivan Reiff is the proud owner and operator of Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours. He holds a USCG Master 100 Ton License and is a full-time captain on the Western Explorer and Western Prince II. As an active member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, Western Prince is dedicated to research, education and responsible wildlife and whale watching. We pledge at least 4% of our profits for conservation, and we feel strongly that education is a key part of our trips. We hope you will come away with memories to last a lifetime and a newfound appreciation for the natural world.

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Member Owner: Roger Obayashi / Address: Granville Island / 1806 Mast Tower Rd., Vancouver, BC  V6H 4B6 Canada / Local: (604) 699-2011

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Wild Whales Vancouver - Vancouver, BC

Whale watch from Granville Island! Departing from downtown Vancouver’s historic and eclectic shopping district, Wild Whales will soon take you deep into “the North American Serengeti,” allowing you to observe the diverse wildlife of the Pacific Coast in their natural habitat. It is an unforgettable trip of a lifetime! Board one of our three vessels at Granville Island and keep your cameras ready as you travel down False Creek and into English Bay, where the views of Vancouver, the Coast Mountains and Stanley Park are unparalleled. From English Bay, we pass the Fraser River estuary into the Strait of Georgia. Every trip, every day is different as we explore the Canadian Gulf Islands, the U.S. San Juan Islands and beyond in search of our resident killer whale pods and all of the other wildlife along the way. Sightings guaranteed! Our trips vary greatly in length, from three-to-seven hours. We are often asked why we have such variation in our schedule. The answer, the wildlife we are looking for is unpredictable. Killer whales are always moving and searching for food, we cannot say where they will be from one day to the next. However, we want to give all of our guests the opportunity to experience these amazing mammals. We will therefore travel those extra miles on days when the killer whales are further away from Vancouver. Over the past 10 years, we’ve maintained a focus on customer service, ensuring we go the extra mile to find whales for our guests. Our staff has always been professional individuals who are passionate about the marine environment and its conservation. We have selected jet boats as they are ideal for whale watching in this area. They are able to travel quickly, allowing us to cover a large range, but more importantly, they are whale friendly!


Unusual Recent Sightings from PWWA Boats:

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Northern Resident orcas off of Race Rocks, Sooke, BC on 11/8/13. (left) Northern Resident G2 and Pacific white-sided dolphin off of East Sooke Park. Photo by Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales;
(right) photo by Sandi Murdock, aboard Maya's Westside Whale Charters.

November 8, 2013: I came across the G2 and G27 matrilines foraging east of Race Rocks on the morning of November 8th. There was a group of Pacific White-Sided dolphins accompanying them. I last saw them off of Sooke west bound passing through a group of humpback whales. 

- Capt. Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales Whale Watching

(see also SIGHTINGS)


Environment Northwest: Tidal Energy Sparks Concerns Over Impact on Marine Life

Gary Chittim, Environmental Specialist, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)

November 18, 2013

Anchor Dennis Bounds: A groundbreaking plan to generate underwater power in Puget Sound is now generating concern for marine life.

Anchor Lori Matsukawa: Tidal energy is dubbed the clean power of the future, but as KING 5 environmental specialist Gary Chittim reports, not everyone is on board.

Gary Chittim in Bellingham shipyard: The newest addition to the Puget Sound whale watching fleet is being custom-fitted for the job.

Shane Aggergaard, Island Adventures Whale Watching: We're going to place the whole upper deck here, you're seeing the start of it now…

Gary Chittim: The Island Explorer 4 is being customize above and below deck.

Shane Aggergaard, Island Adventures Whale Watching: C'mon down..

Gary Chittim: The engine room is being beefed-up, and toned down. Mechanics will refit this boat to use less fuel, produce more speed, and produce less sound.

Shane Aggergaard, Island Adventures Whale Watching: Low-noise propellers, larger exhausts…

(orcas surfacing)

Gary Chittim: Whale watch boats have to be quieter, to protect their star attraction -- endangered Southern Resident orcas could be harmed by too much noise. So the fleet spends millions to be as silent as possible.

Shane Aggergaard, Island Adventures Whale Watching: We're working on making it quieter. But to put this amount of noise into the water, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before that happens.

Gary Chittim: This is what he's worried about -- underwater generators that the Snohomish County PUD wants to put in Admiralty Inlet in Puget Sound. They're big, powerful, and loud.

Craig Collar, Snohomish PUD: The median broadband sound put in by the turbines is about 145 decibels.

(sound-up, Seahawks game)

Gary Chittim: That's louder than the short-lived record crowd noise of 136.6 decibels generated by the 12th Man this year…

(sound-up, "Seahawks!!")

Gary Chittim: But PUD officials say that's nothing compared to Admiralty Inlet's other noisemakers.

Craig Collar, Snohomish PUD: The sound of the Port Townsend ferry that crosses Admiralty Inlet very near to where the turbines will be is about 175 decibels, and a big, large tanker or cargo vessel going through Admiralty Inlet is about 180 decibels or more.

Gary Chittim: The PUD says researchers have extensively studied the underwater site and found it's a great place for turbines that can produce a lot of power, but not enough sound to harm sealife. They say tidal power could be the least harmful, most effective energy producer since hydroelectric dams. Some environmental groups are thrilled with the idea of replacing carbon-producing power plants with "deep green" tidal power. But whale watching groups, local tribes and others say Admiralty Inlet is a critical passage for sensitive sea creatures entering and exiting Puget Sound.

Gary Chittim, on beach: They're not saying that they're totally against the idea of tidal power. What they're asking is, is this place where all of these salmon and orca travel the best place to find out if it's safe or not?

(sound-up, welder working on Island Explorer 4)

Shane Aggergaard, Island Adventures Whale Watching: Those whales are back and forth right in front of the proposed zone that they're looking to put these power generation tidal turbines.

Craig Collar, Snohomish PUD: Admiralty Inlet at the point where we're going to install the turbines is over three miles across. The size of a turbine motor is 20 feet.

Gary Chittim: If all goes well, the generators could be installed by 2015. But this project will be producing a lot more noise topside before the turbines begin spinning underneath. In Everett, Gary Chittim, KING 5 News.



How To Help

Become a member of The Center for Whale Research! The Pacific Whale Watch Association is proud to be a longtime supporter of Ken Balcomb and his team as they continue their fourth decade surveying the Southern Resident orcas and working to recover the population. Help them help the whales.

PWWA is also proud to assist the important work of Dr. John Calambokidis and his researchers at Cascadia Research Collective, a scientific and education organization based in Olympia, Washington studying and protecting threatened marine mammals. Contact Cascadia and see how you can pitch in.  

You can also help the whales by coming out with one of our member operators and seeing these majestic animals first-hand, and then joining their constituency for conservation.

Become a Member

Join our prestigious group of whale watching and eco-tourism businesses.

The Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA) consists of 29 dedicated operators committed to research, education, and responsible wildlife viewing.

Member companies depart from 18 different ports in Washington State and British Columbia.  Learn how to join PWWA at:


Contact Us

Pacific Whale Watch Association 

 2247 15th Avenue W.
Seattle, WA  98119