"To Protect Killer Whales, Patrols Keep Boaters in Check"

"SAN JUAN ISLANDS, Wash. — Against the backdrop of rocky bluffs, a pod of orcas repeatedly jumped out of the emerald waters of the Puget Sound one recent sunny afternoon before splashing their massive black-and-white bodies back into the water.

Shadowing the whales were several recreational and commercial whale watching vessels that ferry people out to watch the orcas breach, which is one of nature's most impressive spectacles. But the combination of boats and whales has state and federal authorities worried, especially this summer, now that the Southern Resident pod of killer whales has four new calves.

So authorities are sending out orca patrols, asking the boats to give the sea mammals enough space."

Manuel Valdes reports for the Associated Press September 2, 2015.

Source: AP, 09/02/2015