Orcinus Orca is the world’s largest predator, and simultaneously a significant tourist asset and cultural icon for much of the Pacific Northwest. In the past two decades, the Southern Resident Killer whales (SRKW) have declined by more than 25 percent, and this population appears on a slow-motion path towards extinction. This paper combines elements from biology and economics to put forward a new methodology for investigating their collapse and presents empirical work supporting its novel explanation – the Orca Conjecture. The key mechanism is ecological – Gause’s law of competitive exclusion -combined with a shock coming from booming trade with Asia. Using three different empirical methods drawn from economics, I find the attendant noise disturbance from increased ship traffic post-1998 has lowered births and raised deaths significantly, placing the SRKW on a slow-motion path towards extinction.