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Founded 1977

Save The Whales' purpose is to educate children

and adults about marine mammals, their

environment and their preservation. 
Maui's Dolphin - Vaquita Porpoise
Who is the Most Endangered?


Save The Whales works constantly to save the vaquita, the smallest porpoise in the world. Our Facebook site contains information and updates on vaquita. Invariably, there are Facebook comments from the public concerning Maui's dolphin, the smallest dolphin in the world. Both species are critically endangered. They are are dying from drowning in gillnets set for fish or, in the case of the vaquita, set for shrimp. 

People state that there are only an estimated 55 Maui's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) making it more endangered than the vaquita (Phocoena sinus) with an estimated 150 vaquitas.This is not a contest where any species should win. 

The reason that we list vaquita as the most endangered cetacean - or most endangered porpoise - is that the Maui's dolphin is a subspecies of Hector's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori). Hector's population estimates are around 7,000. All of the Hector's dolphins, including a second subspecies (Cephalorhynchus hectori hectori), live in the coastal waters of New Zealand. It is predicted that by 2030, the Maui's dolphin will be extinct.  

The small, shy vaquita lives in only one place in the world: the northernmost part of the Gulf of California, Baja,California, Mexico. There are no subspecies or populations in other places on the planet. This is it. Thomas A. Jefferson, Ph.D. brought the plight of the vaquita to our attention several years ago and ┬íViva Vaquita! was formed in conjunction with other nonprofit organizations. Since vaquita lives in an area that is a four-hour drive from San Diego, CA, it is our "southern neighbor."  It is for these reasons that we work to save the little vaquita, Panda of the Sea.


Vaquita Hope
Our life-size newborn vaquita model named "Hope." Meet her on
July 12, 2014 - International Save The Vaquita Day, Santa Cruz, CA 
International Save The Vaquita Day 2014 
July 12, 2014 

July 12, 2014 has been designated as International Save The Vaquita Day. Save The Whales is pleased to announce that they will be celebrating International Vaquita Day at the Sanctuary Exploration Center, Santa Cruz, California. Events are planned in the United States, Australia and Mexico (see column at right for a list of cities with celebrations).

Granny,at 103 Years Old

 is the Oldest Known Orca in the World


"Granny," at age 103, is the oldest known orca in the world. She was recently spotted off Canada's western coast. With her were her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her official designation is J2. Granny was originally noted as early as the 1930s. It is believed she gave birth to two calves, and those calves had children of their own. Whale experts have confirmed Granny photos dating to the 1930s.

When Granny was recently sighted, she had just completed an 800-mile swim from Northern California with her pod - JPod. Orcas are identified by their saddle patch (a whitish-grey patch of pigmentation on their back, just behind the dorsal fin), eye patch and scars on their bodies or notches on their fins. Granny has a white marking on her back and a notch in her fin.

In the wild, female orcas usually live for about 50 or 60 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Orcas as old as 90 are not unheard of. Orcas in captivity have a mortality or death rate that is 2.5 times higher than a wild orca.

The oldest age of a female orca in captivity (age 50) has occurred two times. For males in captivity, it's less. The oldest male in captivity lived to age 29 and females usually die in their late 30s and early 40s. SeaWorld has stated that no one knows for sure how long killer whales live but years of photo identification of orcas in the wild confirm their ages.

J Pod is the pod most likely to appear year-round in the waters of the San Juan Islands and Southern Gulf Islands, lower Puget Sound (near Seattle), and Georgia Strait. This 25-member pod tends to frequent the west side of San Juan Island in mid to late spring.


Cuvier's Beaked Whale -
The Deepest Diver

Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) have the deepest recorded dives of all marine mammals, some descending to 2,992 m and spending up to 2 hours,17 minutes below the water's surface before coming up for air. Eight of these medium-sized whales were tracked off the Southern California coast between 2010 and 2012. The tracking resulted in 3,732 hours of dive data. Satellite-linked tags provided the data on the beginning and ending time between dives. The tags were attached to the animal's dorsal fin using two small darts.  Cuvier's are the most often stranded whale when Mid-Frequency Active (MFA) sonar is being used. For more information, visit the PLOS site

View Cuvier's beaked whales on YouTube taped by Save The Whales' educator/researcher Tom Kieckhefer, MSc when he and fellow researchers unexpectedly came upon six Cuvier's in Monterey Bay, CA.


Unsafe for Man or Beast


Loro Parque is the amusement park in the Canary Islands where the orca Morgan lives in terrible conditions. Attempts by many, including Save The Whales, to have her freed were unsuccessful. Now, it seems that the vet at the park can't differentiate between a live gorilla and a man dressed in a gorilla costume. During a practice drill regarding escaped animals, an employee was wearing the gorilla costume when the vet opened fire with a tranquillizer gun.The man-gorilla had an allergic reaction to the huge dose and was hospitalized but his condition is improving.  


If possible, please join in one of the celebrations for Save The Vaquita Day and, if you can't be with us, please sign the petition to save the vaquita. The little "Panda of the Sea" needs all of our assistance if it is to survive.

     M1 signature

Maris Sidenstecker I 

Executive Director, Save The Whales 

501(c)(3) nonprofit organization  

  Voted Top-Rated NonProfit 2013   


 Loneliest Whale in the World 

The New York-based Worldview Entertain- ment announced it will finance and produce a documentary feature named 52. The story concerns the search for a puzzling and surprisingly solitary cetacean that has been dubbed "The Loneliest Whale in the World." This fall, during a seven-week expedition, the film crew will attempt to locate "52 Hertz," a lone male cetacean who emits mating songs at a frequency higher than any other whale in the area. There are blue whales and humpback whales in the vicinity, but they sing at frequencies in the 15-25 hertz range. The loneliest whale sends out calls that are more frequent and shorter than other whales.
He does not follow any known migration route. He has earned the "loneliest name," because he doesn't have anyone to talk to and other whales can't hear his songs."  No one is believed to have seen 52, at least not knowingly.
For decades, U.S. government scientists have been following his haunting songs that can travel hundreds of miles under the ocean's surface.The songs were first detected by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1989. At the end of the Cold War in 1992, the U.S. Navy declassified recordings by the whale. He has been detected every year since 2004. He is at least 24 years old, but probably much older. 
His species is unknown but he is thought to be a blue whale, a fin whale, or perhaps a hybrid of the two species.
He is believed to be healthy.
has been hypothe- sized that he is malformed or the last member of a whale species that has never been identified.


Sites for

Save The Vaquita Day Celebrations


Honolulu, HI -

Waikiki Aquarium    

Monterey CA

American Cetacean Society  

Newport, OR

Oregon Coast Aquarium

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Point Vicente Interpretive Center

San Diego, CA (two locations)

American Cetacean Society - Dr. Thomas A. Jefferson

~Mission Bay Park

~San Diego Natural History Museum Balboa Park

San Pedro, CA -

Cabrillo Aquarium  

Santa Cruz, CA -

Save The Whales 

Sanctuary Exploration Center

Virginia Beach, VA -

Virginia Aquarium   



Byron's Bay



La Paz, Mexico

Jorge Urban


Contribute to Save The Whales   
Graphic by
Nodar Kipshidze

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Save The Whales
1192 Waring St.

Seaside CA 93955



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