Luna Stweardship Project
Click here to link to the Luna Stewardship Project website
The Marine Mammal Monitoring Program (M3) is working together with the Friday Harbour Whale Museum's Soundwatch Program and Strait Watch of Johnstone Strait, on the new Luna Stewardship Project.
Luna, or L-98, is the juvenile male from the Southern Resident Community of orcas who has been living alone and away from his pod for more than three years. Researchers don't know how he ended up in Nootka Sound, but have concerns about such a highly social animal living alone.
The Luna Stewardship Project is composed of a team of people from all three boater education programs who are dedicated to educating residents and visitors in Nootka Sound, British Columbia, about Luna's presence and his situation, and trying to prevent human/boat interactions with the whale. They are also monitoring Luna's condition by recording observations and collecting information from residents.
The Luna Stewardship Project would like to be able to provide coverage at the dock or in adjacent waters, seven days a week, indefinitely.
Their mission is to educate people about Luna's unique predicament, to decrease the amount of interaction Luna has with people and boats, and to advocate for an immediate plan for Luna's future and reunification with his family.
Luna has become a very lonely little whale, and increasingly seeks out human companionship in the absence of his orca family. He is very difficult for humans to resist, but further interaction with the calf could prevent him from ever being a truly wild whale or being united with his pod, and could end up harming him or the people who interact with him.
Courtesy of Kari Koski, Soundwatch Coordinator, The Whale Museum, © 2003 / photos © Chantelle Tucker