The Northwest Fisheries Science Center reports that a killer whale, labeled K25, was “tagged” off the coast of Grays Harbor. The K in the designation signifies being part of the K Pod of whales.
On December 2011, NOAA was authorized to begin satellite tagging killer whales. In February 2012, the first satellite tag was deployed on an adult male, J26, in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
NWFSC researchers tagged an adult male, K25, in Puget Sound on December 29, 2012 with a satellite-linked tag. As of today K25 has been tagged for one month and was last tagged traveling along the Washington Coast west of Grays Harbor.
Tagging and tracking of the whales is intended to assist in developing a recovery plan for the endangered species. The Recovery Plan identifies the threats and research priorities for the population. One of the highest priorities identified for SRKW was to determine their travel patterns in the winter. Although their summer routes are well defined, their movement during the winter months, where they spend the vast majority of their time, is not known.