Orca reports have included some Transient Bigg's and A42s of the Northern Resident Orca, with no confirmation of the Southern Resident populations that are usually around at this time. Weather has been a factor with a good few days of fog reducing visibility and some lumpy seas making sightings a challenge.
Humpback Whale reports are fewer than the past month with a a few sightings indicating that they have spread out from the more populated areas. There are unconfirmed rumours that some have moved into various mainland inlets.
Susan MacKay, Wild Ocean Whale Society
Annual General Meeting:
Our AGM is scheduled to take place January 14, 2018 in Powell River. Please contact us with any questions or requests for more information.
Charity Donation Receipts:
Canadian Official Tax deductible receipts for 2017 cash donations will be issued in January. If you have changed your email address during the year, kindly contact us immediately so we can update our information. Thank you for your donations. Donations Page
Real Time Monitoring Station Live Update:
Our live camera feed is at YouTube Channel Live Link. Work continues on a resolution for the transmission problems causing the intermittent bouncy images from the Beach Gardens Marina camera. Our second (backup) live stream mounted in Powell River appears when the Beach Gardens camera is down. We appreciate your patience.
Thank You to all our hardworking volunteers and contributors! Our newest volunteers are finishing their training and are doing great.
Our team of online Volunteers continue to do a great job in making sure all your sightings reports are mapped and published regularly. Would you like to join us? Updated Job Postings are in the works for 2018, so stay tuned.
ISSUE SIGHTINGS MAP 2018-001
TRANSIENT BIGGS KILLER WHALES
Thu Jan 04 2018
NORTHERN RESIDENT KILLER WHALES
Tue Jan 02 2018
Mon Jan 01 2018
UNIDENTIFIED KILLER WHALES
Thu Jan 04 2018
Sat Dec 30 2017
Wed Dec 27 2017
Tue Dec 26 2017
Fri Jan 05 2018
Wed Jan 03 2018
Mon Jan 01 2018
Fri Dec 29 2017
PACIFIC WHITE SIDED DOLPHINS
Tue Dec 26 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
To the human eye, big ships cruising along the west side of San Juan Island this summer might have looked like they were traveling in slow motion. To the perceptive ears of killer whales, those same ships might have sounded a little bit quieter.
That’s because more than half of commercial ships transiting Haro Strait — between San Juan and Vancouver Island — voluntarily slowed down as part of a two-month experiment by the Port of Vancouver, British Columbia. The Port wanted to test how slowing vessels reduces underwater noise — and whether that could help endangered killer whales...... read on
• PoV Preliminary Analysis
Restrictions on vessel traffic have helped keep more boaters farther from critically endangered southern-resident killer whales, while not harming the whale-watch industry, a new study has found.
Federal restrictions enacted in 2011 require whale-watch boats and other vessels to stay at least 200 yards away from orca whales. That’s a long way — two football-field lengths — and doubled the buffer. Yet whale-watch tourism continues to grow, the technical memorandum from NOAA found.
Lack of food — namely salmon in Puget Sound — as well as high levels of contaminants in their environment, and disturbance by vessel noise are the primary threats identified by the agency to the Puget Sound orcas’ survival.... read on
The 2018 Salish Sea Protection package of new legislation, will commit the state to dramatically improving oil spill response, strengthening protections of orca whales, banning net-pen aquaculture of invasive species, and prioritizing toxic cleanups in the nearshore and marine environment.... read on
Marine researchers will take to the water and sky in the Salish Sea this year in a major effort to help save endangered southern resident killer whales.
Bankrolled by the federal government’s $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, researchers will conduct numerous studies to learn more about the killer whales and why they are in such peril. Just 76 of the animals are thought to exist.... read on
Friends of the San Juans appealed San Juan County’s recently updated Shoreline Master Program to the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board. The SMP is the primary tool for protecting the fragile marine ecosystem that depends on the health of that narrow band of shoreline where the water meets the land.
... Particularly worrisome are adverse impacts to our forage fish spawning beaches and the threatened juvenile Chinook salmon that rear along our shorelines— and by extension to endangered orca higher up the food chain.... read on
Why does Canada take a much greater risk with its salmon fisheries than Alaska?
Earlier this month, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued an ‘Emergency Order’ closing all Chinook salmon fisheries (sport and commercial) in Southeast Alaska marine waters. In doing so, they acknowledged their responsibility to protect not just Alaska’s salmon, but also the low numbers of Chinook returning to northern British Columbia, the Fraser River, Washington and Oregon.
ADF&G’s Emergency Order states, “The in-season data and stock specific information cannot be ignored when conservation of wild stocks is the foundation of the Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fisheries Policy and the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Therefore, it is imperative that Alaska offer relief now for these stocks, with a focus on protecting future production.”
There are just as many warning signs that Chinook (Spring) salmon in British Columbia are also returning in poor numbers. So why does Canada take a much greater risk with its salmon fisheries than Alaska? Fisheries on the Nass, Skeena, and Fraser Rivers illustrate the point. The Nass return is 27% of average, the Skeena’s 23%, and to date, the Albion test fishery on the Fraser shows some of the lowest returns on record. Yet these fisheries remain open. Prioritizing fisheries over fish facilitates their long term decline ...... read on
The state of Oregon sued the agrochemical company Monsanto on Thursday over pervasive pollution from PCBs, the toxic industrial chemicals that have accumulated in plants, fish and people around the globe for decades. The company called the lawsuit baseless.
... A variety of fish species in Oregon are vulnerable because the PCBs accumulate in their fatty tissues. When seals, eagles, osprey, orca whales and humans eat those fish, that contamination is passed on, the lawsuit alleged.
In some cases, dead orca whales that washed up on shore have been treated as hazardous waste, the lawsuit said.
“PCBs cause a wide range of systemic toxic effects in humans and animals and can seriously impair the endocrine, neurologic, and reproductive systems,” according to the lawsuit.... read on
NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL
A U.S. scientist is trying to stop right whale entanglements with fishing gear, which garnered increased attention after a spate of deaths this past summer.
Mark Baumgartner, a biologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass., has been studying North Atlantic right whales since 1999. He said in recent years there's been a shift toward conservation to try and save the species because they could be extinct in 20-25 years. There are fewer than 500 of the whales remaining and the population has been declining for the past seven years. ...... read on
The plight of the large whales at the hands of commercial whalers both historically and currently, is well documented. As a result of intensive and unregulated hunting, population figures plummeted, some even went extinct (the northeast Atlantic population of the north Atlantic right whale) and only with the protection afforded by the moratorium on whaling in 1986 have some of these species slowly started to recover.
However, the hunting of small whales and dolphins, although illegal in many countries, remains mostly unregulated and therefore the true scale of...... read on
The Mexican coast of the Pacific Ocean received on Friday the first whales of their migratory season, during which these cetaceans swim some 18,000 kilometers (11,000 miles) from the frigid Bering Sea between Russia and Alaska.
In the five whale sanctuaries of the northwest Mexican state of Baja California Sur, it is now possible to sight some of the 3,000 whales that each year come to spend the winter and reproduce following the most massive migration of mammals in the world....... read on