It is with a heavy heart that the Centre for Whale Research brings the news of the death of another one of our beloved Southern Resident Killer Whales L92 Crewser 1995-2018. Just in the prime of his life at 23 years old, Crewser was the favourite of many of our crew members due to his charismatic personality! Specifically, for our skipper, Marty, Crewser was the whale that he looked for first, as he fueled Marty’s “passion for these majestic beings.” He would often show curiosity in the water, which gave crew members great encounters and a sense of connection. Crewser traveled with L pod, specifically along side his aunt L90 Ballena, and the fact they he has been absent since November 2017 leads us to believe he has passed on.
L pod is one of three pods, the other are J and K pod, that make up the entire population of the Southern Resident Killer Whales, an endangered ecotype that feeds primarily on Chinook Salmon. The death of Crewser brings the total population of the Southern Resident Killer Whales down to 75 individuals, a number that has reached its lowest point since the early 1980’s when the population took a hit due to live capture for aquarium purposes.
On Monday, June 18th, Michael Harris, a Seattle-based ABC News Producer and Wildlife Specialist & former Executive Director of the Pacific Whale Watch Association spoke on the CFAX radio station regarding the recent loss of Crewser from the Southern Resident Killer Whale L-Pod. The loss of another Resident Killer Whale speaks to the health of the overall ecosystem and emphasizes the need for action. Michael Harris, exclaimed “if we are going to save this Southern Resident population, we really have to take charge”. To learn more about the status of the Southern Resident Killer Whales, please listen to the following audio clip http://fw.to/qHVR80P.
Rest in peace Crewser you will be greatly missed.