Hostile Waters: To catch an orca | The Seattle Times

As part of our ongoing coverage of the struggling southern resident killer whales (orcas) who live in the waters of Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest, I created a short documentary, using present-day and archive footage, that dives into how the capture of orcas in Washington ended and the struggle for their lives that continues today.

Live killer whale captures in the Pacific Northwest during the 1960s and ’70s fueled a worldwide orca craze. Puget Sound was the primary source of supply. But a 1976 hunt for SeaWorld in Budd Inlet was a turning point, leading to the end of an era. Just one killer whale taken from Puget Sound survives today.

Design director Frank Mina and news artist Emily M. Eng created this online experience for viewing the film.

Editing: Lauren Frohne
Interviews: Lynda Mapes
Cinematography: Steve Ringman, Ramon Dompor
Photo Research: Colin Diltz

Archival Footage Courtesy of Ted Griffin, Michael Harris and Baby Wild Films
Archival Photos Courtesy of Game Department, Ralph Munro Papers, Washington State Archives
Additional Footage Courtesy of NOAA