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2017 Species in the Spotlight Hero Awards

In 2017, we recognized these heroes who have expanded and enhanced recovery of our most imperiled marine species.

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NorthPacificrightwhale_smudgy.jpg North Pacific right whale #87 also known as “Smudgy” interacts with a log floating on the water. There are only around 30 individuals in the eastern population, so to spot a North Pacific right whale is rare and to see one interacting with a log in a once-in-a-lifetime experience. NOAA Fisheries permit 782-1719.
 Southern Resident killer whales encountered during NOAA's PODs (Pacific Orcinus Distribution Survey) in October 2021 Southern Resident killer whales encountered during NOAA's PODs (Pacific Orcinus Distribution Survey) in October 2021 near the west end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Credit: NOAA Fisheries