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Interview with The Killer Whale Guy
Last year we had the idea to interview various guys who we felt were fighters for all things natural, including nature, so we immediately thought of a friend who was the Curator for the Whale Museum on San Juan Island in Friday Harbor.
Here’s what they do at the Whale Museum in their words:
“The Whale Museum, located in beautiful Friday Harbor, Washington, was opened to the public in 1979 as the first museum in the country devoted to a species living in the wild. Today, our museum continues to promote stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research.”
Eric does a lot for this cause and he graciously agreed to sit down for an interview with me and answer a range of sporadic questions about the whales and body odor.
AJ: Who’s Smarter, an Orca Whale or a 5th Grader.
Eric: (Laughs) An Orca Whale.
AJ: Tell us something interesting about the Orca’s linguistics?
Eric: All the different dialects. Just within the different pods there’s different phrasing, different words essentially that they use. You can recognize which pod it is just by listening to them. There’s particular calls done by particular pods.
AJ: Did we ever really truly feel Willy?
Eric: You know, I’ve never saw the movie.
AJ: Come on you’re the whale guy!
Eric: But, there are lots of whales still in captivity. In particular there’s Lolita who was born into L Pod, captured somewhere in the 1970’s. Since then she’s been in a tiny tank in Miami Sea Aquarium. I think it’s shallower then she is long so she can’t dive. It’s amazing she’s even still alive.
AJ: What have the Orca’s taught you about yourself?
Eric: The concept of taking what’s there, what the universe gives you, rather then trying to pursue something that you think you want. They are the masters of that. You’re a lot more successful in accomplishments, and a lot happier if you’re able to do that.
AJ: What’s the biggest concern for the Orca’s future?
Eric:Human’s, and our footprint.
AJ: What can humans do to help the Orca’s?
Eric: Reducing our ecological footprint is a huge way to help the Orca’s. Most of their threats are anthropogenic in origin, reduced prey availability. This is primarily caused by reduced fresh water habitat for salmon. There are toxins in the environment that have been put there by humans. There’s noise from vessel disturbance. On the horizon for the Salish Sea is the coal terminal, selling coal from Montana and Wyoming. They want to sell it to China using bulk carriers and railroad to transport. 3 bulk carriers of coal a day going through the Haro Strait. That’s a tremendous amount of traffic, not to mention an increased chance for an accident and spill of some kind. Even if the coal isn’t spilled, the oiled spilled from the ship would be a huge potential threat. There’s also the coal dust issue, the dust would come off the ships and trains were transporting it and that would get into the environment.
AJ: Is that (coal plan) still in the works?
Eric: It’s still in the process.
AJ: Is there still hope that might not happen?
Eric: Washington Legislature is arguing that if we don’t do it at Cherry Point then the Canadians will just do it on the other side of the strait. But if everyone says no, we’re not going to be the ones to do it, and then it can’t happen.
AJ: What’s your relationship to your body odor?
Eric: I like my body odor, but I don’t like when’s there’s too much of it. So, I definitely like bathing, I love being in water. I’m really looking forward to using and trying out these great soaps. It looks like a quality product and one that I’m happy to support.
Check out The Whale Museum website and find out how you can help this endangered species by adopting an Orca!
Banner image thanks to: Mike Charest, “Orca 12/20/14“, CC 2.0 / Cropped