Southern Resident Orca Recovery 

Evaluating the effects of Southern Resident orcas recovery actions and external threats in the marine ecosystem of Puget Sound 

Researchers employ Atlantis ecosystem modeling to evaluate the ecosystem-level effects of the Southern Resident orca recovery actions and external threats in the marine ecosystem of Puget Sound.

Principal Investigator

Hem Nalini Morzaria-Luna, Long Live the Kings

Co-Principal Investigators

Elizabeth Fulton, CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere

Chris Harvey, Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Isaac Kaplan, Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Melissa Knox, Department of Economics, University of Washington

Heidi Pethybridge, CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere

Javier Porobic, CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere

Michael Schmidt, Long Live the Kings


In light of the recent high-level efforts to recover Southern Resident orcas in the Salish Sea, the research team will carry out an evaluation of ecosystem-level and economic impacts of recovery actions aimed at enhancing orca  population growth and long-term sustainability. Using Atlantis ecosystem models, the researchers will assess the effect of Southern Resident recovery actions on other conservation objectives, the tradeoffs inherent in the proposed recovery actions, and future cumulative threats to population growth. The results will provide policymakers and managers with helpful information about the probability of success and tradeoffs of conservation actions.