About

In May 2014, The Whale Trail and presenting partners produced a series of talks featuring renown author and marine conservationist Erich Hoyt. We traveled from Saturna BC to Monterey CA, reaching sold-out and enthusiastic audiences along the way.

Following the success of Orca Tour 2014, we are bringing Erich back for another series of talks around the Pacific Northwest in October.

Presenting Partners/Host Organizations
Each event is being organized and hosted by organizations who share our vision and commitment to stewardship for orcas, other marine mammals, and the marine environment.

Sponsors and Supporters
Profound thanks to the sponsors and supporters who have made Orca Tour 2015 possible.

About Erich Hoyt

ErichHoytForestPhoto60LRes

Erich Hoyt’s first killer whale expedition to Johnstone Strait sailed from Victoria, BC in June 1973. He proceeded to spend parts of the next 10 summers with orcas, culminating in his now classic book Orca: The Whale Called Killer.

Erich went on to study and work on conservation projects related to other whales, dolphins, sharks, deep sea creatures, ants and social insects, working in Costa Rica, Japan, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Argentina, Chile and other countries.

In 1999 he co-founded the Far East Russia Orca Project (FEROP) to learn more about orca pods targeted for aquarium captures and to get Russian students involved in science and conservation of killer whales in Russian waters. Now in its 15th year, FEROP has recorded the Russian pods and photo-IDed some 1500 orcas off Kamchatka and in the Commander Islands — including three white orcas found so far in the study areas.

Erich is the author of 22 books including The Earth Dwellers, and Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises, the latter recently named as an “Outstanding Academic Title” by the journal Choice, as well as five books for children. His most recent book is the newly revised and expanded Creatures of the Deep, with state-of-the-art photos from the Census of Marine Life, plus rare giant squid and beaked whale photos.

Erich is an authority on marine protected areas (MPAs) and sanctuaries, and is currently Research Fellow with WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, leading its Global Critical Habitat MPA Program.

Erich is as an appointed member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Cetacean Specialist Group and the World Commission on Protected Areas, and co-chairs the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force. He is a member of the International Committee for Marine Mammal Protected Areas and has helped organize and program its world conferences in Hawaii (2009), Martinique (2011), Australia (2014) and Mexico (to be Nov. 2016).

A former Vannevar Bush Fellow in the Public Understanding of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and twice James Thurber Writer-in-Residence at The Thurber House, Hoyt was recently awarded the Mandy McMath Conservation Award by the European Cetacean Society at its annual conference for his body of work including books, papers and work on marine conservation. He is a Canadian-US dual citizen who lives with his family in England.

About The Whale Trail

Whale Trail sign, Freshwater Bay
Whale Trail sign, Freshwater Bay

The Whale Trail (www.thewhaletrail.org) is a series of sites around the region where the public may view orcas and other marine mammals from shore. Our mission is to inspire appreciation and stewardship of whales and our marine environment by establishing a network of viewing sites along the whales’ trails through the Salish Sea and the coastal waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Our goals are to increase awareness that our marine waters are home to orcas and other species; connect visitors to orcas, other marine wildlife and their habitat; inspire stewardship and build community; and promote land-based whale watching. Our over-arching goal is to ensure the southern resident orcas do not go extinct.

The Whale Trail provides simple, powerful, and long-lasting reminders to visitors and residents alike that orcas and other whales live in our waters.  Through our current sites and signs, including two on every Washington State ferry, we reach more than 25 million people each year.

We are working with teams in ites from British Columbia to California, throughout the orcas’ range. Together, we will turn the tide for the whales!

The Whale Trail is led by a core team of partners including NOAA Fisheries, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Seattle Aquarium, the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, and the Whale Museum. Donna Sandstrom is the Founder and Executive Director. The Whale Trail is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, registered in Washington State.

Banner photo credit: Evgeniya Lazareva, Far East Russia Orca Project (FEROP, WDC). All rights reserved.