Freitag responds to Southeast Alaska orca stranding

02/19/2013

Contact:

NR: SG-2013/NB047

Ketchikan, Alaska—With the help of the U.S. Coast Guard, Ketchikan area Marine Advisory Program agent Gary Freitag and Mike Walsh of the National Marine Fisheries Service responded to a report of a dead orca in nearby Carroll Inlet. The orca was later identified as "Yakat", the well-known matriarch leader of a pod of orcas that frequented Southeast Alaska waters. Yakat was among the first killer whales to be photo-identifed by researchers in the 1970s.

Read more in the Ketchikan Daily News: Matriarch orca found deceased near Ketchikan (February 9–10, 2013) PDF; 1.1 MB)

Gary Freitag and Yakat   Gary Freitag takes sample
MAP agent Gary Freitag takes a tissue sample from a dead killer whale found by a passing boater in Southeast Alaska's Carroll Inlet. The 27-foot-long carcass was later positively identified as "Yakat," the matriarch leader of a pod of Southeast Alaska killer whales that scientists have been following since the 1970s. (Photos courtesy Gary Freitag, Alaska Sea Grant.) Click images for larger, uncropped versions.

The Alaska Sea Grant College Program is a statewide marine research, education, communication, and extension service at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Alaska Sea Grant is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in partnership with the University of Alaska Fairbanks and private industry.

The Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program is a statewide university extension and technical assistance program that helps Alaskans wisely use, conserve, and enjoy Alaska's marine and coastal resources.