USA: Fisheries Service to announce today if it believes orcas need protection

25th Jun 2002 Puget Sound's resident killer whales were putting on a clinic of all things orca, slapping pectoral fins, swimming in tight formation, breaching, even cartwheeling in front of Dave Ellifrit and a crew from the Center for Whale Research.

The spectacle, including five tailhops, was spectacular. "Lots of whales doing lots of things," Ellifrit sang out, as if that point could escape anyone's attention.

But underlying last week's exuberant performance is the somber recognition that Puget Sound's resident orcas are in a worrisome state of decline.

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