As I write this, there is encouraging news out of Puget Sound, our southern resident killer whales are pregnant, and Tahlequah, who lost her calf in 2018 and carried it for 17 days while the world watched, gave birth to a healthy calf in September. A win for whales is a win for salmon as each species’ health is an indicator of the others’.
Salmon are a keystone species, meaning that other species in their ecosystem, including humans, depend on them disproportionately. From whales to bears, eagles to trout, salmon make life possible for a long list of iconic animals. If they are lost, the entire ecosystem would change drastically. With the number of southern resident killer whales at a historic low, and fishing opportunities dwindling, we are already seeing the impacts of declining salmon populations.
All our work, and your support of our work, goes toward saving salmon and those that depend on them, both people and wildlife. This year, we are transitioning from wrapping up research for the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project and the Hood Canal Bridge Assessment to focus on solutions described in this report. Take a look at our progress and take time to consider how we are changing our waters, and our region, for the better. Long Live the Kings understands the unique role salmon and steelhead play in Puget Sound’s ecosystem. It is complicated work that takes looking at the problem from every angle of the food web, from zooplankton to the largest predators like seals and whales. Together, we can make a difference.
Jacques White, LLTK Executive Director
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