Opinion: Whales’ boundless salmon appetite

It was another tough week in the news, with foreign and domestic terrorist threats, climate change, forest fires, droughts, floods, endangered species, invasive species and a recurring disaster worse than all the others put together: a shanghaied presidential election that makes our country the laughingstock of the civilized world.

Then there are the many other toxic concerns to keep you awake at night, such as: Are your whales getting enough salmon?

A recent article in the Peninsula Daily News (“Diet Decline: Smaller Chinook Mean Lighter Meals For Resident Orcas,” PDN, July 28) detailed the exhaustive research by legions of dedicated researchers who have detailed the declining diet of the orca, or killer whale.

Scientists studying the orca fecal matter (yes this is a real job) have revealed that Southern Resident killer whales have evolved to consume a diet of king salmon or chinook in preference to all the other species.

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About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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