Expert on southern resident killer whales


The following University of Victoria expert is available to media to discuss today’s announcement by the US-based Center for Whale Research ( of the loss of two endangered southern resident killer whales and the urgent action needed by Canada and the US to save them from extinction:

Jason Colby (Dept. of History), a specialist on the history of people and marine mammals in the Pacific Northwest, is available to offer historical perspective on the crisis facing the endangered southern resident killer whale population. Colby is currently completing a book on the history of killer whale captures and the environmental politics of the Salish Sea. He can provide a longer view of the food decline this population has been suffering as far back as the 1890s and since the damming of the Columbia River, which almost certainly used to be a bigger part of their food supply than it is today. He can also offer perspective on why orcas are so important to us now. Says Colby: “This is a test case on how committed people in this region and beyond are to the health of the Salish Sea, and to what extent the US and Canada can cooperate to save an iconic animal.”

UVic-produced video of Colby on YouTube

Media contacts

Dr. Jason Colby (History) at 250-721-7389 or

Val Shore (University Communications + Marketing) at 250-721-7641 or

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Keywords: expert, history, whales

People: Jason Colby

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