After the Breach Podcast

After the Breach Podcast

Welcome to After the Breach, a podcast for whale enthusiasts by whale enthusiasts. Join professional guides and whale watch captains Jeff Friedman and Sara Shimazu as they share their passion and love for whales.


May 18, 2023 76 mins

The collaboration between whale watching companies in the Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA) and other groups makes whale watching in the inland waters of Washington state and British Columbia unique, resulting in some of the most responsible whale watching on the planet. Erin Gless, the executive director of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, joins us to discuss the origins of the PWWA and the special collaboration that t...

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Following up on our last episode where we discussed the low genetic diversity of Antarctic Type D killer whales, in this episode we chat about another recently published  genetics paper that focuses on killer whale populations in the Northeast Pacific, including Southern Resident, Northern Resident, Alaskan Resident, Offshore and Bigg's killer whales. Joining us for this discussion is returning guest Monika Wieland Shields, co-foun...

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April 13, 2023 68 mins

Sub-Antarctic "type D" killer whales are a very distinctive and rarely encountered ecotype of orcas found in the offshore waters of the Southern Ocean. Jared Towers, director of Bay Cetology, joins us in this episode to discuss his fascinating encounter with a group of "type D" killer whales and a recently published paper, “Type D” killer whale genomes reveal long-term small population size and low genetic diversity.   


Before ju...

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We are back on San Juan Island after our winter offseason. People often ask us what we do during our offseason. We go whale watching in other parts of the world! Daven joins us on this episode as we share stories of our offseason whale adventures. Between the three of us we traveled to the Canadian Arctic, Eastern Pacific off Mexico and the Sea of Cortez, the Southern Ocean off Australia, the Sliver Bank off the Dominican Republic,...

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December 11, 2022 48 mins

The award-winning 2022 documentary Corky is the story of world’s longest-held captive orca, the changing public sentiment about orcas in captivity, and the rise of sea sanctuaries. Christine Caruso, the producer and director of Corky joins us to discuss the film.

Corky is a member of the Northern Resident killer whale community and was captured on December 11, 1969. We intentionally published this episode on the anniversary of her ...

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November 28, 2022 60 mins

Joining us as our guest, from Vancouver Island, is our friend Gary Sutton. Gary is a whale researcher with Ocean Wise Research and Bay Cetology. He is also a professional whale and wildlife guide. After recently returning from his field research season off northeast Vancouver Island and the central BC coast, Gary shares information about the focus of their research and tells some great stories about his time up there. The overarch...

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October 13, 2022 72 mins

On October 7, 2022 two families of Bigg's killer whales, the T065As and T099s, successfully hunted an adult Minke whale south of the San Juan Islands in Washington state. We were able to document the hunt as well as the hours long feeding behavior afterwards. Bigg's killer whales in the Salish Sea predominately prey on harbor seals, sea lions and porpoise.

This was an incredibly rare event to witness, and joining us as our guest to...

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The Silver Bank is the largest breeding ground for North Atlantic humpback whales. Gene Flipse, owner and operator of Conscious Breath Adventures, joins us to discuss and share stories from one of our favorite whale experiences, swimming with humpback whales on the Silver Bank.

The episode begins with Sara and Jeff discussing the latest sightings from our whale watching tours with Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching from Friday Harbor, Wa...

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    Bigg’s killer whales are a thriving population we see often in the inland waters of Washington state and British Columbia. In this episode we take a closer look into what we are learning about their fascinating culture and social dynamics. Joining us is return guest, Monika Wieland Shields, co-founder and director of Orca Behavior Institute.

    We discuss and highlight the differences between the two populations of orcas we see in the...

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    July 22, 2022 71 mins

    The 2013 documentary Blackfish exposes the distress of killer whales kept in captivity and contrasts their lives with those of the wild orcas we see here in the Pacific Northwest. Joining us this week to talk about his involvement in the film is Dr Jeff Ventre, one of the former SeaWorld trainers featured Blackfish. 

    We discuss the origins of Jeff’s involvement that can be traced back almost 15 years prior to the release of Blackfi...

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    The return of humpback whales to the Salish Sea after an absence of almost 100 years is absolutely incredible. It is a story we love to share when we are out on the water on our whale watching tours. In this episode we talk in detail about the amazing humpback comeback with our guest, Tasli Shaw, co-founder and project lead of the Humpback Whales of the Salish Sea. Tasli is also a captain and professional guide with Ocean Ecoventur...

    June 20, 2022 76 mins

    Joining us as our guest this week is professional guide and captain Daven Hafey to discuss his new documentary film project Salmnesia. Daven has extensive field experience in wild places all over the planet including the Arctic, Alaska, Antarctica, and the San Juan Islands in Washington state.

    We ask all our guests about memorable wildlife and whale encounters and Daven’s are well worth listening to. He spoke in detail about two am...

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    Joining us as our guest this week is Monika Wieland Shields, co-founder and director of Orca Behavior Institute. In addition to talking with Monika about OBI's field research, we spoke about the two different ecotypes of killer whales we see in the waters around the San Juan Islands, the endangered fish-eating Southern Residents and the thriving marine mammal eating Bigg’s (formerly known as Transients). We discussed the changing t...

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    We kicked off our first episode with an introduction to your hosts, Jeff and Sara, and the origins of “After the Breach.” We caught up with early 2022 encounters, beginning with Sara’s amazing experience with Risso’s dolphins, which are very rare in the inland waters of the Salish Sea. We discussed recent encounters with Bigg’s killer whales, Southern Resident killer whales and humpbacks. We also described some of our all-time most...

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