Humpback Whales appear to be staying in less populated areas but did show up by Salmon Point, below Campbell River and by Lund on the mainland side in this report. Their movements indicate there must be some good food around while they manage to keep their distance away from chatty Dolphins and Orca.
Susan MacKay, Wild Ocean Whale Society
Wild Ocean Whale Society has been nominated again this year in the Not-For-Profit category of the 2017 Annual Business Awards for going above and beyond in all aspects of business. Thank you all for the nomination. Winners will be announced at a gala event held by the Powell River Chamber of Commerce on February 4, 2017
Real Time Monitoring Station Update:
We hope to get a few photos of the progress in our next issue.
Our team of Volunteers continue to do a great job in making sure all your reports are mapped and published regularly. Would you like to join us?
ISSUE SIGHTINGS MAP 2017-004
UNIDENTIFIED KILLER WHALES
Thu Feb 16 2017
Wed Feb 15 2017
Mon Feb 13 2017
Sun Feb 12 2017
Wed Feb 08 2017
Tue Feb 07 2017
Sat Feb 04 2017
Thu Feb 02 2017
Sun Feb 12 2017
Fri Feb 10 2017
PACIFIC WHITE SIDED DOLPHINS
Thu Feb 16 2017
Sat Feb 11 2017
Tue Feb 07 2017
Dive into over 5,000 Cetacean Sightings, images, videos and audio recordings reported in our Sightings Updates with the WOWS Sightings Archive Explorer
Archive Explorer takes readers into the Cetacean world of the BC Coast. Easily view all Cetacean sighting reports together with all sighting photos and videos:
• View species such as Humpback, Grey Whale or Dalls Porpoise
• Follow the endangered Southern Residents Orca in the Salish Sea
• Search for encounters with T002C2 Tumbo
• Goto Port Alberni to watch a close-up video of Orca in the harbour
• Track the T010s Transients as they hunt and travel the inside passage
• Check-Out "KC", the ever popular Humphack and track his whereabouts this past August
• Goto one of 12,000 named locations on the BC and WA State coast
• Print custom sighting reports and maps (Coming Soon)
Explore this powerfull new research tool with the Archive Explorer Help page
Note: The Cetacean Sightings Archive is also available in database format together with sighting photo and video links for viewing, query and download here
Send your Comments and Questions to: Archive Explorer Feedback
REGIONAL & WEST COAST
No, those aren't beached whales on Vancouver's shoreline.
A Vancouver man with a deep affection for orcas spent most of his weekend carefully crafting nearly life-sized killer whales out of snow and sand on Jericho Beach.
"With this sudden snowfall, I thought I'm going to do it right now, while I have the chance, and see how it turns out," said Aaron Cambrin, 27, who started the sculptures Friday.
The spy-hopping orca was first, which took about five hours, he said.
A guide is now available to help mariners avoid collisions and disturbance involving whales and other cetaceans in B.C. coastal waters.
Shipping is considered a leading threat to whales — not just from collisions, but general stress and the impact from engine noise, which can diminish the ability of at-risk killer whales to feed and communicate.
The new guide is produced by the Vancouver Aquarium’s Coastal Ocean Research Institute in partnership with the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert. Northern sightings recorded by Pacific Northwest LNG are also included.
• Download the Mariners Guide
The proposed zone in Haro Strait is less than one-half of one per cent of the critical core habitat, West said, and runs from San Juan Island’s Cattle Point to Mitchell Point. “It works out to about 10 to 12 square miles. It extends three-quarters of a mile from the shore and then there’s an additional quarter-mile buffer zone.”
The idea of a protection zone in the area has been talked about for 15 years, said Michael Harris, former executive director of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, which represents 37 whale-watching companies in B.C. and Washington state. “It’s primarily going after whale-watch boats, commercial whale-watch boats.” But whale-watch boats are a “minuscule” part of the problem, Harris said.
“The biggest problem is recreational boaters, people who don’t do this commercially, don’t have experience operating around whales.”
He said commercial operators took a lead in establishing the government guidelines they must obey, which require boats to stay 200 yards from whales.
“It’s been a very progressive industry, largely because they know that without whales there is no whale watching.”
He said whale-watching companies realize there is a major focus on protecting whales. “The whale watchers want to show that they’re part of the solution, not part of the problem.” ...
Scientists have long used Argos satellite tags to track blue whales along the West Coast, learning how the largest animals on the planet find enough small krill to feed on to support their enormous size.
Now researchers from NOAA Fisheries, Oregon State University and the University of Maryland have combined that trove of tracking data with satellite observations of ocean conditions to develop the first system for predicting locations of blue whales off the West Coast. The system, called WhaleWatch, produces monthly maps of blue whale “hotspots” to alert ships where there may be an increased risk of encountering these endangered whales.
• Whalewatch Webinar & Additional Info
Captain George Drevar and the crew of the sailing ship Pauline were off the coast of Brazil in 1875 when they witnessed a battle between two titans of the sea: a sperm whale and a monstrous sea serpent.
Over the span of 15 minutes, Drevar watched as the serpent coiled itself around the whale and attempted to pull it below the surface. Occasionally, the battle dipped out of sight, only to rise again. Eventually the serpent prevailed, and the whale was dragged to the dark depths “where no doubt it was gorged at the serpent’s leisure,” Drevar wrote in a statement.
From today’s scientific vantage, it’s difficult to imagine what Drevar saw—no known animal remotely fits the description. Yet Robert France, an ecologist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, thinks he can explain Drevar’s and other sailors’ sea monster tales. France suggests the incident was indeed a battle, but between a dying whale and the discarded fishing gear that was pulling it under....
Murdoch University researcher Krista Nicholson, who monitors dolphins occupying the Peel-Harvey coastal waters near Perth, said she has observed multiple cases of dolphins interacting with blowfish. She noted that juveniles in particular like to hold puffer fish in their mouths for a few hours then pass them around.
These blowfish have a lethal toxin called tetrodotoxin present in their skin, flesh and internal organs which is deadly to humans. For the dolphins though, it has a narcotic effect, placing them in a “trance-like state.”
In April 2010 a blowout on the drilling rig resulted in the release of 134 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over an 87-day period, killing thousands of marine mammals including bottlenose dolphins.
A new study coordinated by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) documents the unprecedented mortality rate and long-term environmental impacts of the oil’s exposure and represents a synthesis of more than five years’ worth of data collection, analysis and interpretation.
In this latest installment of the “Climate Diaries” series, CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips is in Antarctica, following a group of researchers chasing killer whales. They are using new technology, including drones, to learn about the health of the ocean’s top predator. Phillips shows us how the Antarctic Ocean’s dwellers are experiencing the effects of climate change.
The ship that took a CBS News team to the U.S. research base at Palmer Station, Antarctica is not your average love boat. There’s some serious scientific work being done on this cruise, and the findings are not always happy ones, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips.....
The vaquita is vanishing. Its population has fallen 92 percent since the late 1990s, leading scientists to warn it could be extinct by 2018. About 100 vaquitas existed in 2014, but that total was updated to just 60 in 2016. And in February 2017, scientists announced only about 30 vaquitas are left, suggesting extinction may be imminent.
At roughly 4 feet long and 90 pounds, vaquitas are already the planet's smallest marine mammals — vaquita means "little cow" in Spanish — and now they're also the most endangered ....
Scientists have discovered “extraordinary” levels of toxic pollution in the most remote and inaccessible place on the planet – the 10km deep Mariana trench in the Pacific Ocean.
Small crustaceans that live in the pitch-black waters of the trench, captured by a robotic submarine, were contaminated with 50 times more toxic chemicals than crabs that survive in heavily polluted rivers in China.
“We still think of the deep ocean as being this remote and pristine realm, safe from human impact, but our research shows that, sadly, this could not be further from the truth,” said Alan Jamieson of Newcastle University in the UK, who led the research.