NOAA ends search for ailing whale

NOAA ends search for ailing whale

Three-year-old orca has not been seen in more than a week.

NOAA ended its search for a 3-year-old Orca on Thursday after the emaciated killer whale had not been seen in a week.

The whale, named J50 or Scarlet, was last seen on September 7 “lagging a half-mile to a mile behind the rest of her family group,” according to a September 8 NOAA release. She appeared in dire straits; biologist Joe Gaydos called her the “thinnest killer whale” he’d seen.

A NOAA press release Friday stated that the federal agency decided to conclude its search.

“After dedicated search efforts for J50 over the last two days, J50 was still unaccounted for,” the statement reads. “The team ended its active search last night.”

Nonprofits and groups affiliated with the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network remain on alert, NOAA said.

“We remain grateful to our many partners and everyone who has lent support to the response and search,” the press release states.

Southern resident killer whales, seen frequently off the coasts of Washington and British Columbia, are critically endangered, according to NOAA. With the loss of J50 they will number just 74 animals.

The exact cause of J50’s illness is not known. The whale’s death would be the second among southern resident killer whales this summer; in July, an emaciated newborn calf of 20-year-old female J35, or Tahlequah, died 30 minutes after birth.

More in News

19-year-old admits to killing Port Orchard man

Gig Harbor man turns himself in and is booked on first-degree murder. Another suspect is also booked.

Map view of Strickland property. Courtesy photo
City of Poulsbo looking to buy resident’s property next to PERC site

Ellen Strickland wants to sell her property to city instead of developers

Towne Square’s new ownership has big plans for reimagined mall

Klein, Fenner see a remix of restaurants, retail in refurbished property

Survey about NKSD: Quality good, COVID not

A majority of respondents to a survey about the North Kitsap School… Continue reading

Bremerton retiree donates $250,000 each to four Kitsap nonprofits

Donor gives $1.875 million in total to seven groups serving the environment, arts and children

Proposition 2 seeks to upgrade Kitsap 911’s emergency communications system

A 1/10th of 1 percent sales tax increase would pay for $41 million modernization

A volunteer helps pick up trash as part of Puget Soundkeeper’s Poulsbo cleanup. Tyler Shuey/North Kitsap Herald photos
Puget Soundkeeper holds cleanup events in Kitsap

Seattle-based water quality advocacy group looking to expand footprint

Kitsap Transit briefs community on possible Southworth ferry docking at Harper Pier

Residents bring plenty of questions to executive director

Most Read