Ken Balcomb (age 82 years) is a researcher who has spent almost five decades researching the iconic and endangered killer whales of the Pacific Northwest.
A researcher who advocated for orcas, Ken Balcomb, died at the age of 82
Ken Balcomb died on Thursday after a brief illness. He was 82. According to the Center for Whale Research, Balcomb died surrounded by friends and family at a property on the Olympic Peninsula’s Elwha River. The center acquired the site two years ago to safeguard the spawning grounds of Chinook salmon, which is great food for orcas.
“Ken was a pioneer and legend in the whale world,” the center said in a message posted on its website. “He was a scientist with a deep-rooted love and connection to the whales and their ocean habitat. He inspired others to appreciate both as much as he did.”The cause was prostate cancer, The Seattle Times reported:
“I don’t think we would have known if it hadn’t been for Ken,” “He laid the foundation for and significantly contributed to the understanding of these animals we have today. We just wouldn’t be where we are without Ken’s research.” “Ken wasn’t shy about making his feelings known, based on the information he had collected and seen,”“I regularly got an earful about what we were or were not doing with regard to the whales.”Hanson said:
“I was getting kind of tired of telling the story of whales declining, of fish declining,” “I want to be on the good side of a story.”Balcomb said:
Who Is Ken Balcomb’s Wife? Children’s and Brothers
Susan Berta is Ken Balcomb’s wife and runs the Orca Network, a nonprofit advocacy group located on Whidbey Island. Kelley Balcomb-Bartok is his son.
Howard Garrett, Scott Balcomb, and Mark Balcomb are Ken Balcomb’s brothers.
Earlier life of Ken Balcomb, Where is he from?
Ken Balcomb is 82 years old at the time of his passing. He holds an American Nationality and he belongs to the white ethnicity.
He started studying orcas in 1976, and his studies two decades later contributed to the discovery that the whales were starving due to a scarcity of salmon. Which served as the impetus for their Endangered Species Act designation in 2005.
His Early Career
Numerous whales from the Pacific Northwest were captured in the 1960s and 1970s to be shown at amusement parks like SeaWorld. The roundups resulted in at least 13 orcas dying, and the severity of the catches sparked public outrage and a lawsuit in Washington state to put an end to them.
Orcas can be captured responsibly, according to the whale-capture business, which claimed that there were many orcas in the ocean. To get a better understanding of the animal populations, the governments of Canada and the United States attempted to undertake surveys.
Balcomb launched an annual survey of the whales in 1976. Following the example of a Canadian scientist by the name of Michael Bigg. Who invented the technique of photographic identification of individual orcas by the form of the white “saddle patch” by their dorsal fin.
With minimal outside funding, Balcomb established the Center for Whale Research. He recorded the population rebounding to 97 whales in the middle of the 1990s. Before it abruptly plummeted to fewer than 80 whales in the years that followed. Balcomb noticed this fall, which was the catalyst for orcas receiving endangered status.